Derek C Lalchhanhima, a 6-year-old boy from Mizoram, received a Compassionate Kid Award from PETA India in recognition of his concern for animals. When Derek accidentally ran over a chick with his bicycle, he rushed home and asked his parents to help the bird. The boy’s father, Dhiraj Chhetri, advised him to take the bird to the local hospital. With 10 rupees in his pocket, the boy rushed to the hospital and begged the staff there to treat the chick – not realising that he or she had already died. The hospital staff told him that it was too late.
Developing empathy for animals is a key step towards developing empathy for – and rejecting violence against – all beings, including humans. It’s important, therefore, that students learn at an early age that the animals with whom we share this planet are, in many ways, not so different from us. PETA India’s Compassionate Citizen programme is especially designed to help students between the ages of 8 and 12 better understand and appreciate animals. It consists of a 23-minute video with fascinating footage of animals, along with cartoons and a text pack. The more schools that include Compassionate Citizen in their curriculum, the more of a positive impact the programme will have on society. Teachers can get a free copy of the kit here. PETA India has sent a copy of it to Derek’s school, St Pio School in Aizawl.
Join PETA India and encourage people to help injured animals when they spot them by calling an animal-protection NGO in their city. You can also get advice from PETA India by calling (0) 98201 22602. Click here to get some tips on helping animals in distress.