Ahead of World Music Day, Elefriend the Raghu Dixit Project Stars in New PETA Youth Campaign

For Immediate Release:
19 June 2015

Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

Band Calls On Fans to Watch Them Perform – Not Animals in Circuses

Bangalore – Posing as if set to burn the stage with their performance and with an elephant design on the trademark lungis (sarongs) worn by the band, Raghu Dixit, Gaurav Vaz and Parth Chandiramani – members of the acclaimed contemporary folk music group The Raghu Dixit Project (which won Best Folk Album at the 2015 Global Indian Music Awards) – star in a brand-new campaign against circuses’ cruelty to animals. The group teamed up with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Youth – PETA India’s division for teens and 20-somethings – for the campaign, which will be released just in time for World Music Day on 21 June. The ad reads, “Be an Elefriend: Say No to Animal Circuses!” The Raghu Dixit Project wants people to know that animals in circuses are chained, locked in barren cages, deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them and regularly beaten – all for cheap tricks. The print visual for the campaign was shot by leading photographer Waseem Khan, outfit styling was done by Ashwini Shashidhar and hair and make-up were done by Hitesh Naik.

“There is nothing wrong with circuses. Circuses are wonderful to go and have fun, but what is wrong there is the fact that they use animals … and take them away from their natural habitat”, says Dixit. “[W]e urge our fans and every citizen of India: stop promoting cruelty towards animals by going to circuses.”

The findings of PETA India’s extensive investigation of circuses in India included rampant use of torture devices; animals who had died from inadequate care or who had simply gone “missing”; drunken circus staff who handled animals; nearly constant chaining and caging and other severe confinement of elephants, dogs, cats, birds and other animals; animals who showed signs of severe psychological distress, including constant swaying, circling and even self-mutilation and the use of elephants and other animals who were nearly blind or had severe eye problems.

PETA India is now calling on the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to ban the use of animals in circuses, as Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus and Greece have already done.

For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.