Ahead of Children’s Day (14 November), actor Sunny Leone and musician Daniel Weber’s children – 8-year-old Nisha Kaur Weber and 5-year-old twins Asher Singh Weber and Noah Singh Weber – became the proud recipients of PETA India’s Compassionate Kid Awards in recognition of their acts of kindness towards animals.
Each of the children has signed a petition to help elephants, joining 1,00,000 students from across the nation who are urging the central government ministers for animal husbandry and the environment to add elephants to the list of species protected from being exhibited, trained, or used for performances such as tourist rides, circuses, or any other form of entertainment. And ahead of Diwali, Sunny and Daniel’s children distributed Phool’s plantable “firecrackers” (which are actually plant seeds) to their friends to celebrate the holiday in a way that is fun for everyone, including animals, who suffer and often get lost after being frightened by loud bangs. The children also join their parents in providing community animals in their area with food and water.
“I teach my children to be kind to animals to help them grow into adults who will be kind to everyone,” says Sunny. “Kind children today mean a more peaceful society tomorrow.”
“Animals are my friends, and I don’t like it when my friends get hurt,” says Nisha. “Animals feel hungry, sad, and happy just like us. That’s why I like taking care of them with my brothers Asher and Noah.”
Elephants who are used for performances commonly exhibit signs of severe psychological distress and frustration such as swaying, head bobbing, and weaving – behaviour not observed in elephants in the wild. These animals are routinely controlled through beatings and are kept chained for most of the day.
PETA India urges the public to keep their companion animals safe during Diwali by keeping them indoors, closing windows and curtains, and turning on a radio or TV to drown out the noise.
To create more compassionate kids, PETA India offers its Compassionate Citizen programme to teachers for free. It is designed for students between the ages of 8 and 12 and teaches them the importance of being kind to animals.