In honour of International Volunteer Day (5 December), PETA India has named Bengaluru software developer Agastya Chandrakant its 2023 Volunteer of the Year.
Agastya, who is vegan, started volunteering for PETA India in 2022 and has worked alongside to oppose speciesism – the misguided notion that other animals are inferior to humans and ours to exploit at will. His actions have included participating in a “Leather Is Dead” demonstration in Bengaluru and playing a critical role in other street theatre–style awareness programmes, helping in many ways including sourcing props and taking photos of the event to share on social media.
Agastya also obtained footage of Jumbo Circus revealing that dogs and horses were being forced to perform cruel and demeaning tricks in violation of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. the police registered a first information report against the administrators of Jumbo Circus for forcing animals to perform unregistered tricks, negligent conduct regarding a horse stunt, and endangering public safety as one terrified horse was made to run around without a lead.
From raising awareness of the violence behind leather production to exposing the abuse animals endure in circuses, Agastya has shown steadfast commitment and kindness to animals at every turn.
You can be a volunteer for PETA India, too. Here’s how: