Kerala Includes PETA’s Humane-Education Programme in Teacher-Training Module Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

For Immediate Release:
6 July 2015

Puja Mahajan; [email protected]
Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]

State Endorses Compassionate Citizen Programme, Which Aims to Teach Children Respect for Others – Including Animals

Kerala – School children throughout Kerala are now equipped to receive a daily lesson in compassion. That’s because after meeting with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the State Project Director of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has issued a circular to district project officers directing them to include PETA’s humane-education programme, Compassionate Citizen, as part of the teacher-training module under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. PETA India has now distributed the programme to all Kerala government schools to use with children ages 8 to 12.

Compassionate Citizen is PETA India’s version of PETA US’ internationally recognised humane-education programme, Share the World, which is designed to teach children to be kind to animals. Compassionate Citizen has been endorsed by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). States and union territories endorsing the programme include Chandigarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.

“It’s said that when you teach a child to be kind to a mouse, you do as much for the child as you do for the mouse”, says PETA India senior education coordinator, Puja Mahajan. “Respect and compassion are vital to reduce violence in society at large.”

Most children naturally feel concern and affection for animals but learn cruelty from society and often lose sight of their compassion. A lack of respect for other species can translate into insensitivity and cruelty towards fellow humans, too. It is well documented by psychologists, sociologists and law-enforcement officials that violence against animals by children is often an early warning sign of future acts of violence towards humans. Humane education can help ensure a future in which animals, the environment they live in and humans are treated respectfully.

The programme consists of a teacher’s guide, reproducible activity sheets, a reading unit with true animal stories and a 28-minute video. It can easily be included in school curricula and all subjects, including languages, science, social studies, environmental science and values education. It’s also great to use in eco and animal rights clubs.

Compassionate Citizen has been voluntarily used in nearly 25,000 private and government schools, reaching 5 million children across India, and is strongly endorsed by numerous celebrities and other notables.

Schools can directly write to PETA at [email protected] for their free Compassionate Citizen kit.

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