John Abraham, Madhuri Dixit, Shilpa Shetty, and Sunny Leone Celebrate PETA India’s 20th Anniversary

For Immediate Release:

6 March 2021


Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]

Monica Chopra; [email protected]

Compassionate Companies Honoured at Virtual Event Commemorating Group’s Two Decades of Work for India’s Animals

Mumbai – On Saturday, in celebration of its 20th anniversary, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India teamed up with celebrity trailblazers John Abraham, Madhuri Dixit, Shilpa Shetty, and Sunny Leone for a virtual party to issue awards to those making major strides in animal rights and honour the group’s accomplishments, including animal rescues, legislative victories, and more.

PETA India recognised animal rescuer Aditi Parameshwaran, who has saved the lives of over 100 animals around Mumbai, with an Outstanding Service to Animals Award. EVO Foods received a Best Innovation in Food Award for its vegan “egg” made out of pulses, and Vegan Textile and Innovation won an award for Best Innovation in Textiles for creating vegan silk with eco- and animal-friendly materials.

“Happy anniversary to PETA India, an organisation that I’ve wholeheartedly supported for the longest time now,” said actor Shilpa Shetty in an exclusive video, in which she praises the group for “asking people to boycott cruel animal circuses or even urging officials to uphold the ban on bulls in performances”.

Other actors who appeared virtually at the event include John Abraham, who was PETA India’s Person of the Year in 2020; Sunny Leone, who has appeared in multiple PETA India ad campaigns, including one proclaiming, “Leather Is a Rip-Off”; and Madhuri Dixit, who worked with PETA India to free Sunder, an abused elephant in Kolhapur.

Recently, Abraham helped PETA India get e-commerce portal Quikr to stop the trade of live animals on its platform. In his video for the group’s event, he said, “I must congratulate PETA India on getting Quikr to discontinue the trading of live dogs. Congratulations, Quikr, and thank you for doing this. I hope others follow suit, especially when we have the crisis of homeless dogs in our country. And thank you, PETA India, for voicing your opinion and making your voice heard when you see an animal suffering.” Abraham, who has been advocating for animal rights with PETA India since its inception, also stated, “I always stand up for animals. That is my life’s mission.”

“PETA India and I first joined hands a few years ago to help elephants, and from there on it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” explained Dixit. “Two years ago, my family adopted Carmelo, a cherished dog, from PETA India. Since then, I urge everyone I see to adopt a dog or a cat from the shelter or from the street.”

Leone appealed to those who attended to support PETA India’s work, stating, “[D]onate everything you can. Even if it’s a little bit, it will make a huge difference.”

“PETA India has worked non-stop to liberate elephants from the entertainment industry, provide stray dogs with medical assistance, encourage meat-free eating, and so much more,” says PETA India Director of Celebrity and Public Relations Sachin Bangera. “Every act of kindness betters our world, and we look forward to seeing what our supporters help us accomplish for animals in the 20 years ahead.”

PETA India’s numerous victories for animals include the following:

  • Rescuing and rehabilitating abused captive elephants Sunder, Ram Prasad, and Gajraj from lives in chains after their stories prompted national outcries
  • Persuading seven circuses to go animal-free and getting the central government to draft a proposed ban on the use of animals in circuses across the country
  • Replacing the cruel Draize test, in which chemicals are applied to rabbits’ eyes or shaved skin, with non-animal cosmetics testing methods
  • Ending animal dissection in undergraduate and most postgraduate training programmes
  • Implementing PETA India’s humane-education programme, Compassionate Citizen, in schools across the nation
  • Prompting the Central Board of Secondary Education to send an advisory to 18,000 affiliated schools across India, strongly urging them to implement a policy that bans students and staff members from wearing leather shoes in favour of animal- and Earth-friendly canvas ones

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.