In time for Children's Day (November 14), a Compassionate Kid Award is on the way from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India to 13-year-old Anya Kunder, daughter of celebrated Bollywood filmmaker and choreographer Farah Khan Kunder, in recognition of her work to help homeless animals during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Community animals are dependent on restaurant waste and handouts, as a result many struggled on the streets during the lockdowns. So, Anya came to their rescue by sketching the animal companions of celebrities in exchange for a Rs 1,000 donation. She raised Rs 4 lakh for numerous animal welfare charities, including PETA India.
Anya also helped feed community animals on Mumbai University's Kalina campus and joined her mother in encouraging people to help these animals by giving them food, water, affection and veterinary care. The duo even adopted Indian dogs 'Gulab' and 'Jamun'.
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"Anya has made a tremendous impact for vulnerable community dogs," PETA India's Associate Director of Education and Youth Outreach Puja Mahajan said. "This Children's Day, PETA India celebrates her for giving people of all ages a lesson in practising kindness to animals."
PETA India has been encouraging schools to teach students to follow Anya's lead. Its Compassionate Citizen programme is designed for students between the ages of 8 and 12, and has been used by more than 1.9 lakh schools, reaching out to approximately 89.8 million children across India.
The programme includes a teacher's guide, a colouring sheet, a kindness pledge that children can sign, a full-colour wall poster, an engaging 23-minute video, and an insert listing easy ways teachers and schools can encourage students to help animals.
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