Turtle Survival Rides On Handmade Towel In Assam

Turtle Survival Rides On Handmade Towel In Assam

Updated on 27 November, 2019

GS3 Environment

Activists are banking on the ‘gamosa’, woven with images of endangered turtles, to spread the message of turtle conservation

About Gamosa:

  • It is a white handmade cotton towel, with its characteristic red border of woven motifs. 
  • It is valued as a gift for visitors, used as a scarf, anti-dust mask, wrapped around the head as a turban.

Benefits to the Environment and Community:

  • Kaso Sakhi (Friend of Turtles), a self-help group comprising 60 women has formed a week ago which wove 36 ‘turtle scarves’ as an experiment under a project initiated by Turtle Survival Alliance

Turtle Survival Alliance:

  • It was formed in 2001 as an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) partnership for sustainable captive management of freshwater turtles and tortoises
  • It arose in response to the rampant and unsustainable harvest of Asian turtle populations to supply Chinese markets, a situation known as the Asian Turtle Crisis.
  • Today, the TSA is an action-oriented global partnership, focusing on species that are at high risk of extinction, and working in turtle diversity hotspots around the world.
  • TSA’s conservation actions utilize a three-pronged approach:
    • Restoring populations in the wild where possible;
    • Securing species in captivity through assurance colonies; and
    • Building the capacity to restore, secure and conserve species within their range country.
  • About 800 women of Puranigaon in Assam were motivated to join the conservation program because restrictions on fishing had hit their husbands hard.
  • They intend to sell the Kaso Sakhi-branded games and other handloom products for generating revenue.
  • A part of this money would go to conservation of rare turtles such as the Assam Roofed Turtle (Panghshura sylhetensis)


About Assam Roofed Turtle:

  • The Assam roofed turtle (Pangshura sylhetensis), also known as Sylhet roofed turtle is a species of the turtle family Geoemydidae found in the Brahmaputra-Meghna drainage in India (Assam) and parts of eastern Bangladesh.
  • It is under Endangered Category under IUCN list
  • It is exploited for its meat and eggs for local consumption or be collected for the pet trade, especially in Asia where this turtle fetches high prices as pets.
  • Habitat destruction by logging and incidental capture in fishing gear are also thought to present threats.



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