“We had always heard of the Olive Ridley nesting sites across the Western and Eastern Coast of India through conservationists and friends. We heard of them coming from the seas in thousands and safely nesting across soft sandy beaches under moonlit starry skies, laying eggs through the night and returning to the ocean — and it all sounded so magical. I couldn’t wait to experience it. Today, the Olive Ridley turtles are facing severe pressure to survive from the increase in the commercialisation of coastlines and fisheries across the Indian Coast. Lack of protection laws and awareness in India has led them to be endangered.
A few months ago, while volunteering with a nesting site on the western coast, all these realities came to life — the number of nests had dropped down to a handful of protected nesting sites encroached by shacks, tourists and fisheries. The survival ratio of these turtles is 1:1000 which by nature maintained a perfect balance in their populations, but their fight with the current environment has dropped the numbers released in the ocean to a few hundreds, leading them towards extinction. These beautiful creatures travel across distances and come on land to continue the cycle of life.
The Turtle Story is an ongoing animation film project under development.
Artwork co-created with Viplov Singh