Mary Kom Breaks Chains, Says Elephants Belong in the Wild, in New PETA Ad Just in Time for Ganesh Chaturthi

For Immediate Release:
27 August 2014

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

Boxing Phenom Urges Fans to Help Ban Animal Circuses in Advance of the Release of Her Biopic, Mary Kom, and Holy Festival

Mumbai – Peering into the camera with fierce determination, covered with scars and trying to break her chains, Padma Bhushan award recipient, Olympic medallist and five-time undisputed world boxing champion Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom, managed by IOS Sports & Entertainment, is featured in a striking new ad from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India just in time for the release of her biographical film, Mary Kom,which features Priyanka Chopra, and Ganesh Chaturthi. The ad’s caption reads, “Elephants Belong in the Wild, Not in Chains. Ban Animal Circuses”. The ad was shot by leading photographer Gaurav Sawn, and Kom’s hair styling and make-up were done by Rohini Foregard.

“Circuses are cruel places for animals, where they are beaten and tortured. As a mother, I can imagine what animals go through when their children are taken away from them to be forced to perform in circuses. It’s sad!” says Mary.”We humans choose to perform, but animals are given no choice.”

Elephants and other animals in circuses are subjected to chronic confinement, physical abuse and psychological torment. Whips and other weapons – including ankuses, which are heavy, sharp steel-tipped rods – are often used to inflict pain on elephants and beat them into submission. Following a nine-month investigation of circuses by a team that included representatives from PETA and its sister organisation Animal Rahat, the Animal Welfare Board of India, a statutory body operating under the Ministry of Environment & Forests, decided to stop the registration of elephants used to perform in circuses. However, this decision has yet to be implemented.

Kom is from Manipur. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Padmashree awards. “Magnificent Mary,” as she has been dubbed, was named Sportswoman of the Year in 2010 at the Sahara India Sports Awards and is India’s most successful female athlete of all time.

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