Tatas, turtles and Corporate Social Responsibility

The Tata Nano is so yesterday.

SHOBHA SARADA VISWANATHAN, in New Delhi, forwards a copy of an advertisement (above) taken out by Greenpeace in the Financial Times, London, and the International Herald Tribune, Paris, to draw the attention of the chairman of Ratan Tata, to the damage being caused to endangered Olive Ridley turtles by the Tatas’ construction of a port in Dhamra in Orissa’s Bhadrak district, in a joint venture with Larsen & Toubro.


Dear Mr Ratan Tata

The Nano is the realisation of a dream you have dreamed along with millions of other Indians. While the Nano is certainly something you’d like to be remembered for, your port in Dhamra could undo all that the Tatas have stood for and built their reputation on.

For two years in a row, ever since dredging began in Dhamra, there has been no mass-nesting of endangered Olive Ridley turtles in the area. If they disappear, it will be forever. And that’s why Greenpeace believes that the port must stop now.

98% of your own customers polled recently also think the port should stop now. Over 100,000 customers have already emailed, called and faxed you, asking that the port should stop now. And over 200 respected scientists—25 of them from IUCN’s Marine Turtle Specialist Group—say the port must stop now. But construction continues day and night, threatening to bring an already endangered species closer to extinction.

Mr Tata, we call upon you to uphold the legacy that your company has built painstakingly over 100 years. Place the planet at par with profits, because there are some things that money just can’t buy back.





Also read: Tatas refuse to stop dredging

Join the Facebook group: Greenpeace India

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27 Responses to “Tatas, turtles and Corporate Social Responsibility”

  1. Andy Says:

    Give it to Greenpeace to communciate brilliantly to drive home its point !!

    Thanks Shobha for this post..i wonder if Greenpeace will take this war in the Indian media tomorrow..

  2. ramu Says:

    Does these GREENPEACE guys eat only Green-Pea?(No meat?) Everyone knows the impact of meat as compared to veg I guess…..

    It is easy to practice than preach (????) …all u guys preaching to others, please go and practice @ your home ….DONT talk about Tata unless ur home is in order !!!!
    – no meat, only veg (impact of non veg on earth is well known)
    – dont wash ur cloth everyday…use the same shirt for 2-days at least
    – don’t buy shorts, cut ur old pants and use it as shorts (re-use)
    – Skip just 2 meals a week (breakfast, lunch or dinner) ..Saves the world (neither u will die nor will loose anything..instead u will gain)
    – go and buy the bike (cycle) today…start using twice a week (no, not to office..just to reach that neighborhood shop)
    – if u buying 2 newspaper, please stop at least one. If ur household is comfortable with digital world (Internet?), dont buy any news-paper

    I will come back with more to this list…SO, U FELLOW DO NOT PREACH BUT JUST PRACTICE…

  3. Hmmmm Says:

    Clever ad.

    But I wanna know something. what are the disastrous consequences of turtles vanishing from Orissa?

    Will it impac the environment which ultimately will lead to a fall in teh quality of human life?

    I am trying to understand the link.

  4. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    Awesome ad!

    Greenpeace and its supporters have been protesting this from last year itself(I remember signing an online petition last April!), Like every goliath project, this too is being carried on secretly, keeping all govt.’s procedures as muted as possible.

    Whatever that was praised about Tatas be it transparency, social responsibility and trust; are all family heirlooms which the present generation of the management have misplaced. :(

    What irks me is their releasing of WWF collection of watches featuring endangered species of which includes the Turtle!

    What is next Mr. Tata? Gangetic Dolphins? Your ol’ buddy, Buddhadev is dying to make amends… and even Bangladesh’s armymen and rogue politicians need more money for a effective coup, interested?

    When are you announcing an oil refinery in Kaziranga?

    Birlas are alleged to have encroached on forestland here, near Mysore, why don’t you do something similar? Your coffee estates are near these sanctuaries and you can expand them to take care of tigers too!

    Bloody tigers are so hard to sight in South India, help us to get them into our villages and fields.

    Hope your interests in shipping and friendship with Japanese will take care of Whales.

    Red Panda? Associate with a Chinese company and get into the business of taxidermy, it really sells! After all there are no laws to protect Red Pandas in China and Master Shifu is fictitious.

    Then your collection of watches will have a meaning.

    WWF: this idiotic organisation had released an ugly fluorescent green silicone/plastic band apparently to CONSERVE environment and wildlife!
    Eff you and your merchandise! :<

    It is at least good that WWF sent back the money from Tatas paid to do an “independent” assessment of the effects of the project, as they had already initiated the land acquistion in 2004/2005 itself!
    Read: http://www.dhamraport.com/download/dhamraport_iucnreport.pdf

  5. Mysore Peshva Says:

    Shocking. No development is sustainable if it deprives a species of its nesting habitat.

    Overall, the turtles are far more important to our coastline than any port. Ports don’t make a coastline; marine life does.

    Besides, the Olive Ridleys have a natural right to their home. To respect them behooves our humanity and our culture.

    Mr. Ratan Tata should respond with action immediately. Thanks to Churumuri and of course to Greenpeace (I love those guys!).

  6. Cool Dude Says:

    Also read: http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Olive_Ridley
    Whatever being reported, printed and uploaded may not be true. There are things twisted and twisted and colored green, blue or saffron. Reader has to be intelligent enough to take own stand after reading whatever the story is.

  7. Alok Says:

    I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to Greenpeace because they have been known to twist and exaggerate facts when it suits their campaigns.

    Still, it wouldn’t hurt Tata to let us know exactly what is happening to the turtles and what is the plan to save them if there are any harmful effects on them.

  8. narasimha Says:

    Greenpeace fighting for the turtles is fine…it is the timing of this ad that bothers me….why now?

  9. karthik venkat Says:

    hmm…. just wondering which auto company just signed a nice, fat cheque for greenpeace.

  10. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    Conspiracy Theory#1: BJP is getting back at BJD.

    Conspiracy Theory#2: BJP, Narendra Modi are targeted by targeting Tata.

    Cosnpiracy Theory#3: Tatas have gone abroad with bhiksha paatre seeking investment for this project.

  11. Manish R Hegde Says:

    Dear Karthik Venkat,

    your ignorance is breathtaking. Did you even know that of all the NGOs in the world — Amnesty, Oxfam, MSF, WWF, HRW, CRY, Red Cross, RSF, etc. — Greenpeace is the ONLY one that doesn’t take money from corporations, governments or political parties?

    Check your facts, then post.


  12. Amlan Says:

    Hi, there the fact is that turtles have nested with successful arribada in Gahirmatha even as we speak. GP has changed the wording of the advt and no longer are referring to the nesting or dredging in the current version of the advt, you can check out in their website for the same.

    also refer my un-official blog on this http://www.dhamraportandturtles.blogspot.com if you are interested.

    Amlan Dutta
    Env Manager
    Dhamra Port Company Ltd.

  13. Reyna Rodriguez Says:

    Since actions speak more than words, Mr. Tata should give the example of “enviromental-friendly” since his company is planning to create enviromental- friendly cars such as electric, hybrid, and compressed-air. He should also be friendly with animals and their ecosystem since they are part of the enviroment. His cars may be cheap, but who cares? Nature can’t be bought with all the money of the world. You lose it once, you lost it forever.

  14. karthik venkat Says:

    manish has been kind enough to enlighten me, by rising to the defence of greenpeace with words to the effect: everyone else is into this, i’m the honourable exception. i’ll take your word for it.

  15. Rational Opinion Says:

    hey greenpeace is not a body to trust anyway they pick up cause not on the basis of help needed but on which can cause most sensation. They are the Rakhi Sawants of the NGO world

    I have read plenty of the Green Peace faux pas

  16. Sarthak K Says:

    seems like all other business houses across the world greenpeace also is suddenly interested in India coz all the money and attention is here.

    You need to admire them for thier strategy coz attaching themselves to nano and TATAs they get the visibility

    I never thought they could represent such an immoral intent

  17. Ramesh Says:

    All the videos and the bad publicity can’t convince me that Tata’s haven’t done their homework. By the looks of it after the nesting that has happened in dharma that the homework has been lacking in some place.

    Anybody wanna guess?

  18. Shrradha/ Ranjay Says:

    The facts are clear dredging has had no impact on the nesting this year.

    Don’t know why green peace is flying off their handle so often
    Its actually not surprising that people would believe or follow the most propagated notion,
    I guess that’s what we all should do too, create more awareness!


    Orissa in the recent yrs have gone through hell, the TATA’s r in fact Doing a great job.

  19. Rajni Says:

    Ratan Tata has taken measures to ensure that nesting does not get affected due to the on going project. The nesting happened last year so what does Greenpeace want now.

  20. Mahesh / Anup Mahanta Says:

    Firstly, I don’t understand the connection between NANO and the endangered turtles. Secondly, the port is being built around 25 kilometers away from the mass nesting area. So how will it affect the turtles? Thirdly, if it’s not affecting the turtles ATALL, and the port is help in generating MASS employment… then why this upheaval?


    Hope you guys know that turtles have nested with successful arribada in Gahirmatha this year!

  21. Ajay / Nelson Says:

    People it Seems like all other business houses across the world greenpeace also is suddenly interested in India coz all the money and attention is here.
    It seems that Green peace is actually working very hard to make sure that their theory of turtles not nesting is proven right.

    Why is it that green peace thinks that everyone who doesn’t buy their theory becomes a Tata Employee?

  22. Rajni Says:

    If Greenpeace is so much into the environment then why doesent it campaign in a green way instead of using all the modern technologies. One needs to pray what they preach.

  23. Anitha / Anindita Says:

    Greenpeace claims itself to be an organization that recons itself with justice …claims itself to be the only savior of Mother Earth. But over the years, its superficiality has come to surface. The way it has dealt with all the principal features of any movements, seems to be only done for visibility. Maybe its time for them to grow up!


    Now that’s what I call driving the point home. Good one Anitha.

  24. sharat Says:

    I want to know why Greenpeace is being inhuman and not thinking about the people of Orissa.

  25. Ramesh Says:

    Please decide after looking at these pictures.Seems like Greenpeace hasn’t noticed them this year.

    These are current nesting pictures of turtles.

    Have a look


  26. prithvi / rahul Says:

    Greenpeace is well known for the wrong reasons. Targeting a world renowned company like TATA definitely getting them in public eye.


    Every developing country gets hurdles from organisations all around the world for some issues.


    I wonder who is benefitting from all this. Niether the Oliver Ridleys nor the people of Orissa.

  27. sijjuthomas / buntysingh / kkulkarni Says:

    And we as Indians are very proud of them, don’t know why green peace makes so much noise about nothing,
    My grand mother used to say empty vessels make a lot of noise…


    You need to admire them for their strategy coz attaching themselves to Tata they get the visibility. Green peace you guys haven’t done anything in Bangalore where your head office is and where you can do much as there is and was so much of tree felling in Bangalore


    The facts are clear dredging has had no impact on the nesting this year. In fact thousands of turtles have nested this yr and shame on you green peace as the turtles them selves have proved you all wrong… like someone earlier commented Grow up green peace
    Orissa in the recent yrs have gone through hell, the TATA’s r in fact doing a great job.

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