For Immediate Release:
18 March 2018
Nirali Gada; [email protected]
Shambhavi Tiwari; [email protected]
Bollywood Stars Take to Twitter to Call Attention to the Plight of Elephant ‘Number 44’
Mumbai – Anushka Sharma left audiences scared with her recent box-office hit horror film, Pari, but what left her horrified is the heartbreaking image of an elephant, known only as “Number 44”, being violently beaten by numerous men. This animal is used for carrying tourists at Amber Fort in Jaipur.
On Saturday, Sharma tweeted the image, saying the following:
“Can you imagine the world we live in? Hurting a voiceless being that is being used to carry humans around for nothing all day! Shame shame shame on these ‘humans’. Aches my heart to see such brutality by my own kind! Sickening!”
The tweet was posted by the actor immediately after PETA India’s Associate Director of Celebrity and Public Relations Sachin Bangera highlighted the plight of this elephant on the same social media platform. Mr Bangera’s tweet was shared by a number of celebrities, including Sunny Leone, Harshvardhan Rane, Pooja Bhatt, Kartik Murali, and Atul Kasbekar. Actor Esha Gupta, who was also shocked by this image, posted the following tweet:
“Imagine what animals must be thinking we humans are? Cruel living heartless destroyers of this earth.”
Last month, actor Sonakshi Sinha fired off a letter calling on Rajasthan Minister for Forest, Environment, Youth Affairs and Sports Gajendra Singh Khimsar to relocate this elephant to a rehabilitation facility for urgent care. The letter followed PETA India’s complaint to the Chief Wildlife Warden of the Rajasthan Forest Department, which resulted in a show-cause notice issued to Number 44’s custodian, Wasid Khan, holding him responsible for the abuse. The notice stated that an investigation carried out by the Regional Forest Officer for Jaipur Zoo, as well as a photograph supplied by an American witness, indicated that the elephant had been treated cruelly, in apparent violation of numerous animal-protection laws. The Jaipur police also registered a First Information Report against unidentified men under Sections 289 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code for mistreating the elephant and putting public safety at risk. However, Khan was later allowed to use her for rides.
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – notes that captive elephants, such as the ones forced to give rides in Jaipur, often are beaten mercilessly, are denied adequate food and veterinary care, and suffer from foot problems and arthritis because of long periods spent standing on hard surfaces. Many develop neurotic forms of behaviour and die prematurely.
In 2017, Sharma was named PETA India’s Person of the Year. She had also been named the group’s Hottest Vegetarian Celebrity in 2015. Some of her recent efforts to protect animals include launching her cruelty-free NUSH clothing line, visiting an animal shelter and promoting its work on her social media platforms, launching a campaign called PAWsitive to raise awareness of the distress that fireworks cause to animals, and taking to Twitter to demand a ban on cruel carriage rides in Mumbai – where horses who are often lame are forced to haul passengers in all weather extremes without adequate rest, food, or water. She lives with her beloved adopted dog, Dude.
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.