Mary Kom To State Education Ministers Across India: ‘Animals Need Us In Their Corner’

For Immediate Release:
26 September 2013

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

Boxing Phenom Teams Up With PETA to Bring Group’s ‘Compassionate Citizen’ Humane-Education Programme to Every Classroom

New Delhi – On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, Padma Bhushan award recipient, Olympic medallist and five-time undisputed world boxing champion Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom has written a letter to the education ministers of states and union territories across India requesting that PETA’s humane-education programme, Compassionate Citizen, be incorporated into the official curriculum of schools in the region for children ages 8 to 12. In the letter, Kom points out that violence against animals by children is often an early sign of future acts of violence against humans.

“One of the best ways to knock out cruelty to animals is to teach compassion to young people”, Kom writes. “Animals need us in their corner. With violence seemingly all around us, it is more important than ever that we teach lessons of respect and kindness in the classroom.”

Compassionate Citizen has been voluntarily used in more than 15,000 private and government schools and has reached more than 3 million children across India. Recently, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) issued a notification to CBSE schools asking them to use it as an official part of their curriculum. The Animal Welfare Board of India – a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests – has also asked the state and union territory education ministers to incorporate Compassionate Citizen into their official curriculum.

Most children naturally feel concern and affection for animals but often lose sight of their compassion. A lack of respect for other species can translate into cruelty towards humans, too. Compassionate Citizen offers teachers tools and lesson plans designed to teach children to view animals as feeling, sensitive beings.

Kom is from Manipur. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including 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.

Kom’s letter to the state and union territory education ministers is available upon request. For more information, please visit