Most children naturally feel concern and affection for animals but learn cruelty from society and often lose sight of their compassion. Also, it is now a well-documented fact that violence against animals by children is often an early warning sign of future acts of violence toward fellow humans. Through education, PETA hopes to ensure a future in which animals, our environment and people are treated kindly.
In an effort to help educators raise socially aware students, PETA has developed a humane-education programme called “Compassionate Citizen” for children ages 8 to 12. A similar programme to PETA’s multidisciplinary package is also in use in the US, the UK and other countries. It can be used in language arts, science and social studies curricula and is intended to give students an understanding of why hatred and cruelty directed against others – regardless of species – are wrong.
Compassionate Citizen has been praised by numerous celebrities, including Lara Dutta, Raveena Tandon Thadani, Anupam Kher and Jackie Shroff as well as by educators, police and environmentalist Dr RK Pachauri, director general of the prestigious Energy and Resources Institute.
The programme is provided to schools and teachers free of charge and is being used by 14 lakh children in more than 7,000 private and government schools throughout India, including the Doon School in Dehradun, Delhi Public School, Springdales, Mother’s International and Sanskriti schools in New Delhi and Jamnabai Narsee, Lilavatibai Podar and Ryan Global schools in Mumbai.
The programme consists of a 28-minute video featuring suggested topics of discussion, video footage of animals, cartoons and a text pack. The pack includes a guide for teachers and reproducible worksheets. Although designed to be included in the monthly curriculum, the programme can also be used for a shorter period of time, including a one-day workshop.
If you are a student, parent or teacher, approach the school principal and ask him or her to order a Compassionate Citizen pack today! For more information, contact Puja Mahajan at [email protected].