Marina sand turtles attract 750 national sculptors

The volunteers included second and third year students of MSAJAA and individuals from all over the world.

Chennai: The area opposite Vivekanandar Illam on Marina Beach was crowded with around 750 sculptors, 200 volunteers and hundreds of people who were all there to be part of the historic sand-sculpting competition on February 7, which is India’s largest sand-sculpting contest.

The Olive Ridley Turtle, the only marine wildlife which nests on Chennai beaches, are endangered. The ‘Save a Turtle’ campaign, along with the Chennai Wildlife, aims at creating awareness on the need to save these turtles, and the contest was held as a part of the campaign.

“Turtles are the only animals that connect the ocean to the land and this connection is what inspired us to hold a sand sculpting contest to create awareness,” said Hafiz Khan of ezone INDIA, one of the organising groups.

“I see a lot of events and campaigns being held at the beach on a regular basis. This is the first time I am touched by an event that was held here,” said a vendor at the beach.

The volunteers included second and third year students of MSAJAA and individuals from all over the world. David Raj and Jerold (representing wildlife), Shobith from the media and Smrithi of PETA judged the event keeping in mind the creativity, design, activism, storyline and the message factors in mind.

“Entries for the competition kept pouring in and we had to stop at 150 teams last night,” said Hafiz, adding that an awareness run will be held on February 21 that is open to all.

The competition saw the coming together of Electricity Department, Corporation, Wildlife, Fisheries, Marine Department and volunteers to help organise the event, as a means to create a revolution among the public.

“We have gone on many turtle walks to create awareness. We are aware of how badly turtles are affected due to pollution,” said Kumaran, a member of the winning team.

The team of five Fine Arts’ students based their sculpture on the need to save turtles and the eggs from humans, dogs and crows. They won a cash prize of Rs 10,000. Five students of Bharath College were placed second, winning a cash prize of Rs 5,000.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story