By Jonathon Knight
Bollywood stars are lending their time and energy to highlight cruelty faced
by India's animals. From being chained and caged, they want this to stop.
Rahul Khanna, An Actor Joined the lost list of stars, including Aishwarya Rai,
Shilpa Shetty and Madhuri Dixit, to publize the unfair treatment of animals.
Dressed up in a torn T-shirt and shackled in chains with bruises painted all
over his body, he posed with the tagline "Beaten, shackled, abused - elephants
do not belong in zoos" for PETA.
"It's a simple fact. When a celebrity speaks, people listen," said Anuradha
Sawhney, chief functionary for PETA India.
"Every time a celebrity speaks out for a cause, be it for animal abuse in
circuses, or their conditions in zoos, or the suffering in factory farms, a lot
of compassionate people come forward to find out how they can help."
Sawhney said that PETA offices are often flooded with calls, letters and emails
from people asking questions or asking for help.
On the behalf of PETA, Aishwarya Rai wrote a letter to save an endangered black
rhinoceros in South Africa. Shilpa Shetty donned a body hugging, tiger stripped
bodysuit and was urging people to boycott circuses. Madhuri Dixit wrote to the
government in the support of Elephants.
John Abraham and dancer Rakhi Swant are the other stars helping out. Abraham was
seen posing in an open cage, saying "Let birds fly free". Swant stood for 5
hours to have her body painted with tiger stripes for an anti-circus ad.
In their latest campaign, PETA, with Khanna, is promoting awareness of treatment
of elephants in cities and zoos.
Elephants are often ill-treated in cities, in which they are used by their ownes
to beg and are poorly fed and are forced to walk on tarmac roads day and night,
says Animal Rights Activists.
Activists say, In the zoos, the animals are separated from their families and
sentenced to a lifetime of boredom, loneliness and abuse. Adding that elephants
are intelligent, sensitive and social creatures which live in closely knit
"These majestic animals belong in the wild, but instead they are locked up like
criminals -- even though they've committed no crime," said Khanna.
Protected and considered an endangered species in India, Over 3,500 Elephants
remain in captivity.