LIFE

In the cause of animals

IN CELEBRATION of Children's Day today, Bollywood hero Jackie Shroff will launch the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal's new website designed especially for young people. Jackie will also congratulate PETA's first "Superstar Kid", a feature on the site that spotlights acts of kindness by today's youth.

The inaugural honours go to Pune resident Rahul Patil who rescued a dog which fell down a well, persuaded a fortune teller to relinquish a parakeet kept in a tiny cage, saved two goats that he found tied up too tightly to take even a few steps and helped raise money for campaigns to save animals. His story about setting free two fish caught by his father is featured in the latest issue of the group's magazine PETA Animal Times.

Most children are naturally drawn to animals, and PETA wants to help them put their compassion into action. The new "www.PETAIndiaKids.com" site features tips on helping to reduce suffering of animals raised for food and used in entertainment from chicken to dancing bears and shows kids how to bring animal protection and modern teaching methods into the classroom by being conscientious objectors to crude animal dissections. Fun features like drawing and painting contests, cartoons that take the zing out of people and vegetarian recipes are sure to encourage them to feel compassion and empathy for all beings.

Long-time PETA India supporter Jackie Shroff is always eager to find time to reach out to children. He has already helped by hosting PETA's "Compassionate Citizen" video, which is part of a program that is sent to thousands of schools round the country.