May 23, 2008

Inspiration for the day

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Seethi Sahib V.H.S.School, Edakkazhiyoor, Thrissur

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Earlier at least a few students of Seethi Sahib V.H.S.School, Edakkazhiyoor used to earn some pocket money by selling tortoise eggs in the tea shops of Chavakkad.  Therefore, when their science teacher James tried to spread the idea of conservation five years ago, the first reaction was: “how can we sacrifice something so tasty”.

But today, no student of the school will deal in tortoise eggs.  Going a step further, the students have formed their own Habitat Group that guards tortoise eggs on the seashore of Chavakkad.

The school first conducted a survey among the villagers on the use of tortoise eggs.  Later the students pledged not to eat these eggs but to try to protect them.

That year, under the leadership of school manager R.P.Siddique and Principal C.M.Nirmala Devi, students formed groups and tried to guard the eggs laid by mother tortoises on the beach.  A banner announcing the punishment for selling tortoise eggs was displayed in front of the school bus.  Leaflets were distributed.  The topic was discussed in grama sabhas and other informal gatherings including tea shops.  The effort bore fruit and resulted in better survival of infant turtles.

Last year, scientist Dr.B.C.Chaudhary of Wildlife Institute, Dehradun visited the place to study about endangered Olive Ridley tortoises on the Chavakkad beach.  This visit has given a boost to the effort of the students.

In addition, the students have prepared an animation film, ‘Turtle Travellers’, to highlight their message of love for these gentle creatures.

Following the footsteps of this school, 12 L.P and U.P schools in the area have established tortoise clubs which too are active in protection works.

The school has a hatchery on the beach.  And the students are on a 45 days vigil to see the infant turtles emerge from the sands.

Courtesy: Sharmila (text), Devit Paul (photo), Gruhalakshmi, April 2008
Contributed by: Administrator

"Pain is forgotten where gain follows."