18 September 2016 : INDIA UNITES FOR ANIMALS (IU4Animals), a citizens’ initiative, is a movement inspired by the Indian ideology of Vasudhaïva Kutumbakam (the world is one family) to end all forms of cruelty to and abuse of animals, the weakest and the speechless members of our family by aiming to get the Animal Welfare Bill (AWB) passed in the Parliament & will be carried on fervently by compassionate citizens indefinitely till its goal is achieved. Animal lovers and other compassionate citizens will be gathering in their respective cities on 18th September, 2016 in about 60 cities across India and 21 cities internationally for the launch of the movement.
The overwhelming support received by the movement even before its launch is proof of the growing resentment in the nation for failing to protect our animals. “We are delighted by the support, solidarity and numbers in which people have responded,” said Sanjana San a college student from Hyderabad relentlessly putting up posters of IU4Animals in colleges and proudly introducing herself as a ‘humane-being’. Jen Lopaz, an animal activist from Bangalore has created videos of recent animal abuse cases to make people aware of the pathetic lives of animals and to make them realise the need for stricter laws.
“Recent times have seen a sharp increase in animal abuse cases. Innocent animals are being tortured by individuals with impunity and innovative methods of torture are being devised, yet abusers don’t get arrested. In a handful of cases that go viral (like the Shaktiman or Bhadra cases) even if the abusers get arrested, they get bail in a matter of minutes. After years of a court case, even if convicted they walk free remorseless, paying a fine of Rs 50 due to the weak PCA Act 1960, quoting the reason for his support to the movement”, says Anand Siva, a CRM Consultant from Mumbai.
“The Nation has been waiting for years for the AWB to be passed by the Parliament to replace the outdated PCA Act passed back in 1960 which is grossly insufficient in dealing with and curbing animal abuse. The AWB has not even been tabled despite the Supreme Court issuing a show cause notice to the Government for the delay on 12 May 2016, which is what perhaps triggered the need for this movement”, says Kamna Pandey, co-op Member, Animal Welfare Board of India, supporting the movement from Lucknow.
It is a well-established fact now based on FBI studies and numerous research projects that there is a deep link between animal abuse and human crimes. Cruelty towards animals, if ignored, eventually moves towards crimes against vulnerable sections of society, be it women or children or weaker sections. If animal abusers are stopped by law there and then, the society can be saved from facing barbaric, gut-wrenching crimes against humans that we are increasingly witnessing in recent times. This is a fact that is well established here in the U.S., but India is yet to recognise and address this serious issue”, says Neetu Jindal, an attorney of Indian origin from New York.
“When we learnt of this movement through social networking sites, it was a compelling call from within to help bring justice to the animals of my motherland. A feeling resonated by hundreds of other Indians and foreign nationals, and cities kept joining in reaching an astounding number of 21 cities internationally”, says Ms Shamila Moodley from Durban,South Africa.
“Seeing the momentum gained by the movement & the noble cause, Zee TV USA offered to & is running one minute IU4Animals ads, along with a scrolling ticker every 15 minutes, a daily Blog post space on www.India.com, holding a debate show to discuss the prevailing laws vs Animal Welfare Bill. We got booth space at the Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations and Navratri Dandiya Celebrations for spreading awareness about the movement. Big Cinemas is running a one-minute awareness promotional film before each show. EBC Radio, Radio Chai and Radio Zindagi are airing IU4Animals shows”, says Pooja Sharma, Graphic designer, Alpha Wolf Communications. In India too, Red FM, Radio Mirchi, Fever 104 FM are airing messages and shows regarding #IU4Animals”, informs Suman Virwani of New Delhi.
Bollywood celebrities supporting the movement and appealing for Animal Welfare Bill to be passed via video appeals, tweets etc- Kapil Sharma, Anurag Basu – director (Barfi fame), Irrfan Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Sunny Leone, Aayushman Khurana, Jackie Shroff, Aditya Pancholi, Suraj Pancholi, Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Khemu, Karuna Pandey, Kanwaljeet Singh, Simi Garewal, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Ayub Khan, Anju Mahendroo, Zareena Wahab, Anita Hassanandani, Divya Seth Shah, Tarun Wadhwa – director, Sharbani Mukherjee, Deepak Parashar, Bhairavi Goswami,
Salma Agha, Sasha Agha Khan, Geeta Kapoor – choreographer, Ehsan Noorani (music composer
Shankar-Ehsan-Loy), Entire cast and crew of The Great Indian Escape film, Mukesh Rishi, Asheesh Kapur, Raj Singh Arora, Raghav Rishi, Taranjeet Singh Namdhari- Director), Gauhar Khan
Support from South- Actor Vishal Krishna, Swapnil Shetkar (Producer/Director), Harish Uthaman, Actress Abhirami, Actor Vijay Devarkonda, Actor Raja Arjun Reddy, Actor & Artist Marquis Avinash, Actress Saina Roy, Singer – Pawan Kumar Charan, Director – R.S. Sridevi, Actor Jeeva Ravi, Actor/writer/director Ravikanth Sreenivasan, Actor Saravana Vel, Carnatic Music and playback singer) P. Unnikrishnan, Vijay Siva – eminent Carnatic Music vocalist, Actor Surya Tej
Eminent personalities in support from other fields: Nitin Malik – lead singer Parikrama, Shipra Kanna – Master Chef, Angarag Mahanta (Papon singer ), Salil Ankola – cricketer, Mohinder Amarnath – cricketer, DJ Whosane, Anusha Mani – playback singer, Ramon Magsaysay award winner/musician- T.M. Krishna, Arjuna Awardee/Chess Master Tania Sachdev, Vijay Siva (eminent Carnatic Musician), P.Unnikrishnan (popular playback singer and Carnatic musician)
TV actors in support: Kapil Sharma, Sugandha Mishra + Sunil Grover + Preeti Simoes – Kapil Sharma Show team), Krystle D’Souza, Jaya Bhattacharya, Seema Kapoor, Kittu Gidwani, Niki Aneja Walia, Narayani Shastri, Janani, Urvashi Dholakia, Monika, Amit Pachori, , Nisha Rawal, Karan Mehra, Shishir Sharma, Nia, Aijaz Khan, Ankita Bhargava, Bakhtiyar Irani, Mansha Behl, Nidhi Uttam, Ekta Mukherjee, Reema Vohra, Aditi Dev Sharma, Ayaaz Ahmad, Ruhanika Dhawan- child artist, sumeet sachdeva, Karan Tacker, Nirmal Soni, Karan Tacker, Sanaya Pithawala (Model/Actress/dancer), Amit Tandon – singer/actor