As part of its groundbreaking corporate social responsibility initiative, Tata Power has teamed up with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India to help teachers at 250 schools across India access materials from the group’s humane education programme, Compassionate Citizen, in order to help foster kindness, empathy, and respect for others in their students. PETA India’s programme material and accompanying video are now available to teachers for students aged 8 to 12 on Tata Power’s Club Enerji webpage.
Compassionate Citizen is PETA India’s version of PETA US’ internationally recognised humane education programme, Share the World, which is designed to teach children to be kind to animals. This programme can easily be included in the school curricula via language arts, science, and social studies and when teaching about environmental issues and values. It’s also perfect for use in eco and animal rights clubs in schools.
Compassionate Citizen is endorsed by the Animal Welfare Board of India, the Central Board of Secondary Education, and Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan schools. It has been voluntarily used by 1.67 lakh schools, reaching nearly 59 million children across India. Many states – including Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana – have issued circulars asking schools to integrate the programme into their official 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 Education and Youth Outreach Manager Puja Mahajan. “PETA India is joining forces with Tata Power to help young people cultivate the important qualities of tolerance and compassion that will stand them in good stead throughout their lives.”
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’s well documented by psychologists, sociologists, and law-enforcement officials that acts of cruelty to animals by children are often a precursor to violence towards humans. Humane education can help ensure a future in which animals, the environment they live in, and humans are treated respectfully.
The Compassionate Citizen programme is a comprehensive interdisciplinary curriculum that includes a 23-minute video featuring inspiring animal stories, amazing facts, easy-to-understand analogies that help students take someone else’s point of view, and age-appropriate information on ways that kids can save animals. It touches on stopping bullying, helping the environment, saving wild animals, taking good care of animal companions, and much more. The material is currently available in English, will soon be available in Hindi, and can be translated into other languages when there is significant demand.