Mumbai Beach Welcomes Olive Ridley Turtles After 20 Years….!!!

On Thursday morning, the Versova beach in Mumbai welcomed around 80 palm-sized turtles, making their way slowly but surely in the Arabian Sea.

Why is this event so special?

Well, for starters, the turtles in question are Olive Ridley Turtle, and their eggs hatched on a Mumbai beach after 20 years, and it was all thanks to the efforts of hundreds of Mumbaikars who have been cleaning the Versova beach for over two years now.

The Olive Ridley Turtle has been classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a vulnerable species, which is likely to become endangered unless the circumstances that are threatening its survival and reproduction improve.

According to WWF India, “Olive Ridley Turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world” and live in the warm parts Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.

The females lay their eggs on the same beach that they hatched from!

However, for the past 20 years, these turtles had stopped visiting Mumbai, thanks to the number of pollutants and plastic on the beaches. Not only is the trash an unwelcoming home to lay eggs, but is also a threat to the lives of the tiny turtles who have to walk from their nesting site to the sea all by themselves.

Afroz Shah had taken the initiative to clean up Versova beaches and collect all the plastic dumped there. According to the Hindustan Times, in only 126 weeks, Afroz Shah and the Versova Residents Volunteers’ team has successfully cleared 13 million kg of garbage, which included plastic from the beach.

Speaking about the Olive Ridley Turtle hatchlings, Prashant Deshmukh, range forest officer, Mumbai Mangrove Conservation Unit said,

“Such an incident happened after 20 years. The presence of more turtle nesting sites cannot be ruled out. We will push for the development of a turtle rescue centre close to this nesting site, and we expect it to be built soon.”

Week 127 .

Fantastic news for Mumbai .

We got back Olive Ridley Sea Turtle after 20 years. Historic moment

Nested and Hatched at our beach. We facilitate their journey to ocean.

Constant cleaning helps marine species.

Marine conservation centre needed at @versovabeach

Apart from Versova, these turtles are found on the beaches of Velas, Anjarle, Harihareshwar, Maral and Diveagar in Maharashtra.

The largest nesting site of the world is in Odisha along the coasts of the Bay of Bengal. Villagers in Odisha, too, have made attempts to save the nesting sites and ensure safety to the newborn turtles. You can read more about this story here.

Edited by Gayatri Mishra.

Source……. Tanvi Patel in http://www.the better




Have you seen Her …?

Four-year-old Santoshi has been missing since July 26, 2015. A Ganesh Nadar/ meets a family, desperately searching for their daughter.

The first of our national series on Missing Children.


IMAGE: Four-year-old Santoshi went missing on July 26, 2015. Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/

She was doing what most children her age do — playing.

Only, four-year-old Santoshi Kesari’s playground was the area under a flyover that rose over the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, while her father sold tiny packets of mixed spices nearby for a living.

The area opposite the Mankhurd railway station, north-west Mumbai, located on what is known as the Harbour Line (the Mumbai railway system is divided into three lines — Western, Central and Harbour — to enable it to serve the sprawling city), is generally crowded.

During peak hours, it is so jam-packed with people getting in and out of the station that even regular pavement vendors like Santoshi’s father would not notice something amiss.

That is what seems to have happened on July 26, 2015; no one noticed when Santoshi went missing. Not even her hapless father or grandmother, a pavement vendor who sells cheap fake jewellery.


IMAGE: This was where Santoshi was playing before she went missing.

According to data provided by the Mumbai police, from 2010 to 2014, 9,275 girls have gone missing in Mumbai of whom 9,011 have been traced. Two hundred and sixty-four girls still remain missing.

One hundred and two girls went missing in Mumbai in July 2015. Eighty-four of them have been traced. Santoshi is still missing.

Her father Kailash Prasad Kesari and mother Kiran are in a state of shock.

Kiran, a thin lady who cannot hold back her tears each time she mentions her daughter, says, “We call her Chotu (little one) at home.”

Finding the tiny spot on the pavement where they sell their little packets of masala (mixed spices) under the flyover opposite Mankhurd station is easy; everyone has heard of the missing girl.

We met Kiran at the Ambedkar Nagar colony, just off the highway. The lanes leading to the Kesari home are barely wide enough to let one person pass at a time.


IMAGE: Kiran Kesari, with her youngest child clinging to her knee, stands in the narrow lane leading to her tiny home.

Santoshi had recently been admitted to the nearby municipal school, where her siblings study. Santoshi was in Class 1; her elder sister in Class 8 and her elder brother in Class 7.

They would go to school together and return home together. Santoshi had attended school for barely 15 days before she disappeared.

Santoshi’s teacher had been warned not to let her out alone as they had to cross a railway track on their way home.

Kiran cradles her youngest, a two-year-old daughter, in her arms as she speaks about her daughter. “Santoshi is very smart for her age. I used to send her to buy small items whose total price did not exceed Rs 50. She also used to go to the local Hanuman temple alone and come back safely.”

Her voice breaking, she adds, “She talked to everyone. More people knew her around here than they knew me.”


IMAGE: The pavement is lined with vendors. The Kesari family sells their masala packets next to Kiran’s mother, who sells artificial jewellery.

On that fateful Sunday, Santoshi left home at 9 am. “She spent the entire day playing under the bridge,” says her aunt.

Santoshi ate lunch with her father at his pavement stall. When she didn’t return home for dinner, Kiran went looking for her daughter. The last the vendors on the pavement recalled seeing Santoshi was around 7 pm.

Soon, the entire family was searching for the little girl.

Finally, they went to the Mankhurd police station and filed a missing person’s complaint. “By the time we reached home, it was 3.30 am,” says Kiran.

Kailash, who sells masala packets worth Rs 400 to Rs 600 a day, makes a daily profit of Rs 100 to Rs 150 with which he looks after his family. His dependence on this daily income has prevented him from launching a hunt for his young daughter.

The family, meanwhile, is still searching for Santoshi and has spoken to everyone they know.

“People advised us to pray to God. We have prayed at the temple. We have prayed at the masjid,” Kiran sobs for her missing child.

Santoshi missing poster

IMAGE: The Kesaris hope someone will find Santoshi and bring her home.

They have even visited the Mumbai police commissioner’s office to register their complaint. They were told to inform the Chembur police station, located near Mankhurd, as well. “I did that,” says Kiran. “I have also registered Santoshi’s details with the Women and Child helpline.”

Two years ago, she says, her husband brought home a child he had found crying alone on the road. It turned out that the eight-year-old boy was from Kanpur; he had been abandoned in Mumbai.

Kiran looked after him for 15 days, till his relatives turned up.

“Today, my child is lost. I hope someone is feeding her and will bring her back. I cannot sleep when I think of her,” she sobs again.

“We have faith in God. He will bring our baby back.”

Meanwhile, opposite the Mankhurd Railway station, at a tiny police office, Santoshi stares out of a missing poster.

Below follows this hopeful announcement: Anyone who sees this child can call her father Kailash on his mobile, 86523 23154, or Head Constable Gaekwad at the Mankhurd police station, at 8452051092.

A Ganesh Nadar /



“Mumbai remains the most expensive city in India”….says a survey….

Mumbai has emerged as one of the costliest cities in the world due to increase in foods prices, home services and rentals, says a Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey 2015.

Mumbai has emerged as one of the most expensive cities to live in, according to a survey. Photograph: Reuters

Mumbai, the financial capital of the country, held its position as the most expensive city in India and is ranked above Dallas, Frankfurt and Vancouver, according to a recent survey

Image: Luanda is the world’s most expensive city to live in, according to a survey. Photograph: Reuters

Luanda, the capital of Angola, has been rated the world’s costliest city to live in, for third consecutive year, as per Mercer’s ‘Cost of Living Survey 2015’

Image: Hong Kong is the second most expensive city in the world for expats. Photograph: Scott Audette/Reuters

“India’s most expensive city, Mumbai (at 74th place), climbed 66 places in the ranking due to its rapid economic growth, inflation and services basket and a stable currency against the US dollar,” the survey has revealed.

Image: Zurich is the third most expensive city in the world, according to a survey. Photograph: Photograph: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

“It (Mumbai) has witnessed higher inflation over the last one year compared to other metro cities, higher cost of fuel, transportation, increased prices of food items, home services and rentals, impacting the cost of living,” it said.

The survey further said that Mumbai is ranked higher and more expensive than cities like Dallas (77), Munich (87), Luxembourg (94), Frankfurt (98) and Vancouver (119).

Image: Cost of living in Singapore is one of the highest in the world. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Mumbai, the most populous city in the country, is followed by New Delhi (132nd place) and Chennai (157), which rose in the ranking by 25 and 28 spots, respectively.

Besides, Bengaluru (183) and Kolkata (193), the least expensive Indian cities, climbed in the ranking as well, it said.

Image: Rentals, food, travelling and related costs are very high in Geneva, says a survey. Photograph: Reuters

The survey includes 207 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

Asian cities dominate the top 10 costliest cities rankings along with major cities in Switzerland, it said. Hong Kong (2), Zurich (3), Singapore (4) and Geneva (5) top the list of most expensive cities for expatriates, while Bishkek (207),

Windhoek (206) and Karachi (205) are considered world’s least expensive cities for expatriates, according to the survey. Tel Aviv (18) continues to be the most expensive city in the Middle East for expatriates.



“Lost in Mumbai…Found In Srinagar …”

Lost in Mumbai, found in Srinagar.

Mukhtar Ahmad/ and A Ganesh Nadar/ report the amazing story of six-and-a-half-year-old Megha Thakur.

The floods which were the bane of much of the Kashmir valley in September proved a boon for six-and-a-half-year-old Mumbai girl.

Megha Thakur, who was found begging in tatters in Srinagar, was abandoned in the uptown Dalgate area of the city as flood waters submerged the state capital.

Through a stroke of luck the child found herself in the care of Abdul Rashid Sheikh and his family.

“We had been hit by the floods and we came back to our home a few days before Bakri Id. We came to know of a girl who had been abandoned by someone in the locality. I brought her to our home,” Sheikh said.

“My daughters took her to the market a day before the Eid festival and we bought her new clothes. We enjoyed her company and she had become part of our family. We had a great time on Eid despite the floods,” Sheikh added.

While talking to the child Sheikh was shocked to know that Megha hailed from the Bandra area in Mumbai and had been brought to Srinagar by a man named Nazir Ahmad a year ago and forced into the thriving beggar market in the city.

“My wife Dilshada and I decided to restore her to her family in Bandra,” Sheikh said.

As the flood waters receded, the family began making efforts to locate Megha’s family in Mumbai. “My nephew Parvez runs a cyber cafe in Dalgate. He took photographs and videos of Megha and posted them on social media. We also informed the local police station about her.”

The police got in touch with their counterparts in Mumbai and began searching for Megha’s family. Her family was located as they had lodged a missing person’s report with the local police.

Abdul Rashid Sheikh (seated extreme left) along with this family.

“I thank Allah that I succeeded in restoring Megha to her family. I feel these floods were a blessing in disguise,” Sheikh said.

Ramesh Thakur, Megha’s paternal grandfather, along with a police team from Mumbai, traveled to Srinagar and took her back this week.

Thakur, who drives an autorickshaw in Mumbai, narrated how Megha had been abducted last year. “Megha’s mother Seema is employed as a house maid. On June 5 last year, Seema had gone to work at around 9 am. That morning, Seema, who was exhausted, fell asleep by a building where she had finished work. Megha, who Seema always brought to work, was asleep next to her when someone abducted her,” Thakur said.

“God brought her back because I prayed to him every single day to look after her and bring her back safely.”

Megha, who seems fed up of narrating her story to journalists, simply says: “I will never go with a stranger again. I will not play outside. I will play only at home. I will stay near my dadi ma (grandmother). Can I go and play now?”

Megha smiles for the camera. Her smile hides the trauma this child faced, of being abducted, begging on the streets of Kashmir, escaping a flood, and coming back home.

Image: Megha Thakur in her home in Mumbai on Friday. Photograph: A Ganesh Nadar 

SOURCE::::: Mukthar Ahamad and Ganesh Nadar in