For Immediate Release:
25 April 2013
Animal Welfare Board Also Endorses Compassionate Citizen, Which Teaches Children Respect for Others – Including Animals
Delhi – Following meetings with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, Dr Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, has called upon the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to look into incorporating PETA’s humane-education programme, Compassionate Citizen, into its textbooks, while Vineet Joshi, Chair of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), has issued a notification for CBSE schools to use Compassionate Citizen as part of the official school curricula.
Compassionate Citizen is PETA India’s version of PETA US’ internationally recognised humane-education programme, Share the World, which is designed to help students ages 8 to 12 better understand and appreciate animals. The programme offers teachers effective tools and lesson plans to teach children to view animals as feeling, sensitive beings.
PETA has sent chapter-wise recommendations to NCERT for its environmental studies books for standards 3 through 5 based on Compassionate Citizen.
The notification issued for more than 10,000 CBSE-affiliated schools around the country explains how the programme can be easily included in school curricula via languages, science, social studies, environmental and values education subjects. Compassionate Citizen is also perfect for use in environmental and animal rights clubs in schools. In addition, the CBSE has included the programme as part of the Value Education Kit for teachers, which was jointly launched by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the CBSE in November.
The programme has the further support of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI). Dr RM Kharb, Chair of the AWBI, has written to Gerry Arathoon, Chair of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, asking for the inclusion of PETA’s school programme in its official school curricula.
“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. “Every child in the country should be taught the importance of tolerance and compassion because those qualities are essential to the effort to stem 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 now 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, humans and the environment that we all live in are treated kindly and respectfully.
Compassionate Citizen has been successfully used in nearly 15,000 private and government schools, reaching 3 million children across India. Celebrities such as Lara Dutta, Raveena Tandon Thadani, Anupam Kher and Jackie Shroff – as well as noted environmentalist and Energy and Resources Institute Director General Dr RK Pachauri – are among those who have offered encouragement for Compassionate Citizen and praised its positive effect on children.
Compassionate Citizen Resource material can be downloaded from the CBSE and AWBI websites. Teachers can order a full copy of the Compassionate Citizen pack with video for free directly from PETA India by sending a request to [email protected].
Copies of letters from the MHRD, the AWBI and the CBSE are available upon request. For more information, please visit CompassionateCitizen.com.