by Tale Weavers &
The Red Elephant Foundation
On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable TALE
Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030
Agenda for Sustainable Development weavers
— adopted by world leaders in
September 2015 at an historic UN weaving tales, breaking stereotypes
Summit — officially came into force.
Over the next fifteen years, with these
new Goals that universally apply to all,
countries will mobilize efforts to end all
forms of poverty, fight inequalities and
tackle climate change, while ensuring
that no one is left behind.
Stories for Awareness is a collaboration
between The Red Elephant Foundation
and Tale Weavers to engage with
children and build awareness around the
17 Sustainable Development Goals.
This story throws light on SDG 14:
Life Below Water
Story: Kirthi Jayakumar
Illustrations: Bairave Sajenthan
Siddharth was a young sailor, who had
won many medals in sailing competitions
He loved the water, and one of his
coaches, Mr Paul, was incredibly proud
One morning, when he took him out to the beach
to sail his boat, after a few months of practicing in a
breaker (structures that flank beaches to keep the water
within calm within the ocean).
This time, he got him to sail past the limits of the
Siddharth got onto his boat. Once the wind began to
blow, he maneuvered it till it was in the right direction.
Soon, with the winds blowing, he began to sail at great
Siddharth went a good distance into the water, as Mr
Paul called out to him with appreciation and motivation,
as he followed him closely on another boat.
Just as he was about to turn around to return to the
shore, Siddharth noticed something.
An enormous ship was busy trawling the waters, and
as it drew the nets inwards, he found that a lot of sea
creatures were trapped in the net: turtles and dolphins,
along with a few other tinier creatures that managed to
escape through the net.
He was shocked at the enormity of what he saw.
With great effort, Siddharth turned the sailboat, and
keeping the sail looser, he sailed back to the shore to his
He noticed that Mr Paul was just as shocked as he was,
with what they saw.
As Siddharth finished sailing, he decided to ask his
teacher the question that had been on his mind. “Mr
Paul, what happens to the marine animals that are
dragged into the net when they trawl the sea?”
“Well, Siddharth, while sometimes, they are put back
into the water, sadly, many creatures don’t survive.”
Feeling dejected, Siddharth went back home. His
father looked at his disappointed expression and asked,
“What’s up, buddy?”
“Dad, I feel bad for the poor marine creatures when
your company trawls the sea. It not only takes them out
of their natural habitat, but some creatures die, too!”
“I understand, Siddharth, and I’m sorry about it. But the
thing is, industries have to function too, right?”
“Well, dad, but the poor turtles cannot afford to stay
under water for too long – they need to come up for air
every 45 minutes! And dolphins are suffocated or even
starved if the nets trap them!
Shouldn’t we be compassionate to marine life, too?”
Siddharth’s father got up and left the room.
Siddharth was worried that his father had gotten angry
with him, and wondered what to do. This was a difficult
After a few minutes, Siddharth’s father returned to the
room with his laptop. “Son, come here,” he said.
Siddharth sat down beside his father and looked into the
laptop screen that his father showed him.
“Thanks to what you said, I am going to change the
equipment we use, so that there won’t be any harm to
the turtles and dolphins. Do you see this…” he said,
opening up a new image from the search results, “…
This is called the TED, or the Turtle Excluder Device.
This little flap can be used to help the turtles and
Siddharth watched eagerly as his father opened up a
video on YouTube to explain how the device worked.
“A Turtle Excluder Device or TED,” said the narrator,
“is a grid of bars that has an opening either on top or at
the bottom of the trawling net.
This grid is then fitted into the neck of a trawl, so that
all the small animals can pass through the bars and will
be caught in the bag end of the trawl, while the turtle or
the dolphin, which is called the bycatch, will be able to
Siddharth’s father immediately called his team and told
them of his decision to buy the new equipment instead
of their earlier ones.
Siddharth hugged his father with happiness for making
a decision to save life under water.
Tale Weavers is an initiative that
aims to engage with children and the
youth through stories that challenge
stereotypes and break the barriers in
creating a just society.
We welcome you to our world of stories
where simple conversations, colorful
illustrations, and powerful characters
help break the stereotypes and create
an inclusive learning space which is
free of bias - be it gender, religion, race,
nationality or ethnicity.
The Red Elephant Foundation is an
initiative that is built on the foundations
of story-telling, civilian peacebuilding
and activism for sensitisation on
all drivers of peace - gender, race,
nationality, colour and orientation.
The initiative is titled “Red Elephant”
to stand out as a vehicle that projects
stories that must never be forgotten:
stories that show you such courage that
you should never forget, and stories that
show the world such profound lessons
that the world should never forget. In
doing so, the initiative aims at creating
awareness and opening up channels
of communication towards creating
societies of tolerance, peacebuilding