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How I was inspired by Dr Jane Goodall DBE

In December 2001 whilst walking along my local beach I came across the body of a dead sea creature. I learned from a local fisherman that it was an Olive Ridley sea turtle. I was informed that though they live in the ocean the females return to lay their nests along the beaches of the east coast of India.

I returned home to know more about these creatures so I could gain a better understanding of my experience on the beach that morning. My encounter reminded me of Dr Jane Goodall DBE’s words I had seen in a  documentary where she said “Every Individual Can Make a Difference”. With this in mind I learned about the different species of sea turtles worldwide, their lives and how, through human activity, many populations globally had suffered worrying population declines and potentially risked extinction.

Something about that documentary kept coming back, I feel it was the admiration I had for Jane and how, against the odds, she had achieved so much which encouraged me to take the brave step of founding an organisation that would dedicate itself to protecting these sea turtles. Understanding the importance of both education and community participation for successful conservation, I decided to call the organisation Trust for Education and Environment, or as it became known, TREE Foundation.

I returned to the same fisherman who had told me about the sea turtle and step by step started to find ways to help protect the turtles. Having a fisherman as a knowledge resource was invaluable.

Soon after starting TREE Foundation I was honoured to meet and spend time with Jane, the person who has most inspired me and motivated me to grow an internationally recognised and respected conservation NGO comprising 363 STPF members in 3 east coast states.