The Olive Ridley turtles are among the smallest and the most plentiful sea turtles that are found on the planet. They prefer warm waters and are usually found in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. They’re really fascinating creatures, and about a year ago, 80 of these tiny turtles were born in Versova beach in Mumbai. On the occasion of World Turtle day, Bollywood star Alia Bhatt shared a tweet, recollecting that day in history when the turtles hatched on the city’s beach.
Now, why is this so important? It turns out that Alia has an interest in cleaning the Mumbai beaches and saving the environment. Last year when the turtles hatched, it marked the end of a 20-year break. The collective efforts of thousands of residents in Mumbai helped clean the Versova beach in a span of two years. The result of the birth of these turtles after 20 years. The gargantuan effort was led by Afroz Shah, a lawyer and ocean lover who was crowned as the Indian of the Year in 2017. His Twitter bio describes him as someone who believes that marine litter and pollution are things that need to be cleared out. A report on Hindustan Times stated that in 126 weeks Afroz Shah and his volunteers managed to clear up about 13 million kg of trash including plastics from the beach.
Save the environment, save the turtles
The International Union for Conservation of Nature termed the Olive Ridley Turtle as a vulnerable species. They are likely to become endangered unless they are provided with a suitable environment. Reportedly, until 2018, these turtles had stopped arriving in Mumbai because of the number of pollutants and the plastic that is discarded on the beaches. The garbage on the beach is a health hazard for the turtles and a poor place for them to lay eggs. Read More