Following PETA India’s release of a shocking undercover investigative video that shows a mahout (handler) violently beating Sunder, a 14-year-old elephant at the centre of a PETA petition in the High Court of Bombay, celebrities – including Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, R Madhavan, Raveena Tandon, Arjun Rampal, Sunny Leone, Amrita Rao, Kartik Murali, Vishal Dadlani, Ayushmann Khurrana, Dino Morea, Jacqueline Fernandez, Celina Jaitly and Yaami Gautam – took to Twitter to share their support for the #FreeSunder campaign.
While Bachchan shared the message posted by PETA’s manager of media and celebrity projects, Sachin Bangera, on his Twitter page, Dixit posted, “We should all be the champions for those without a voice who are helpless. Please help us #FreeSunder http://bit.ly/192pbHO“. Rampal, who was upset after seeing the video, tweeted, “Sunder a captive elephant was captured on camera being mercilessly beaten by his handler. (cont) http://tl.gd/n105jp“.
The video reveals a malnourished-looking Sunder, chained by two legs, writhing in pain and struggling to stand as the mahout strikes him repeatedly with a pole. Sunder visibly recoils in fear from the weapon-wielding mahout, who continues to threaten him with violence after he has stood. Sunder was chained and abused for six years at the Jyotiba Temple in Kolhapur, and following orders from the Maharashtra Forest Department and Project Elephant, which operates under the central Ministry of Environment and Forests, to retire Sunder to a sanctuary, MLA Vinay Kore, who had given the elephant as a “gift” to the temple, sent him to be chained in an old, dark poultry shed in Warananagar instead.
Join the #FreeSunder campaign to help free Sunder from chains, loneliness, darkness and beatings today.