Journey to Life – The Turtles’ Story

Journey to Life - The Turtles' Story

I believe in the philosophy of ‘Connecting Dots’ which implies that anything happening to us is pre-planned somewhere and is purposefully there, we just need to be good observers to find out why we went across this dot. And here’s a story of an exciting dot that happened to make our day. 

I was with my team of youth facilitators Nisar Moosa and Haris Mehmood at Sandspit beach, waiting for the group of young participants on December 25, 2012. We were going to conduct a day long beach-based youth learning program titled JUMPSTART!. It was all about helping youth finding their gift, exploring their meaning in life and using the gift to reach their destiny. Like every trainer, we wanted to give an impactful welcome experience to our participants and this was our point of discussion at that moment. And Haris, who always gets his inspiration from nature, screamed at his best, “hey, look at those turtles coming out of the sand”. And we witnessed a bunch of almost one dozen baby turtles sprouting out of the golden sand. The green colored turtles, having sand on the face and eyes, were emerging out and rushing towards the ocean which was at a distance of approx. 30 meters. The hut’s caretaker rushed down with a bucket and started putting all those tiny turtles in to it. On responding to our surprise, he mentioned that more than 70% turtles die before reaching the ocean as they become prey to the wild dogs, crows and eagles. So he was there to contribute towards saving those tiny lives.  

And the next moment, we received our group of young participants. Nature had put a great ice breaking plan in the place. We lined up the participants on beach and the baby turtles walked in front of them, struggling and rushing to reach the waters. It was a new beginning of their life and for that they must have to reach the waters. Our young participants celebrated their birthday by giving them applause and wishing them new life. They were also touched by the effort those turtles were making to reach their destination. And more than that, the most aspiring thing was to observe that those tiny creatures, when sprouting out of sand, even unable to see the world as sand was covering their eyes, still knew the direction of ocean – the ultimate destination where they will be secure. The sense of direction and destination was the best part to observe in this whole live show. And this is where we started our first thought provoking discussion with the youth.

  • What we learn from those baby turtles?
  • Are we that clear about our vision and purpose, our destination and goals?
  • Are we that much passionate to overcome all hurdles and desperate to reach out those goals?
  • Are we giving it everything to be the best?

And the beauty was when in every module and activity later, the participants were able to relate the learning with the journey and effort of the tiny turtles. Waqar Ahmed, one of the participants in Jumpstart mentions that “The scene was being saved in the memory forever. Not even a single turtle was going against the sea, I am the eye-witness that everyone was running towards sea: their real world. What I learned? I was thinking that when a creature like turtle knows his real destination then being a human being, why can’t I…”

It happened not to be the journey of life for those turtles only, but also for many amongst us.

IT IS GOOD TO KNOW

Later on, while doing some study about the green turtles, I found that there is a lady named Farida Ghauri – Mother of Green Turtles has dedicated her life to the conservation of Green Turtles. The Green turtles lay their eggs every 5 years and three times during the laying period. About 110-200 eggs are laid at a time . It takes almost 40-60 days for the eggs to hatch. With unlimited energy and zest, this 50+ lady works very hard.  She has had boundaries and fences made to protect the nestlings after the eggs are hatched. She can be seen roaming around the beach during the late hours of the night, taking care of the Green Turtles. Ghauri acknowledges that in her almost 20-year-old fight, she has won some battles and lost a few. But the hurdles have not dampened her spirit. For, she says, “The turtles are the children I never had.”

 – Abdul Samad Khan

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