Bhubaneswar: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India will present Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with a Hero to Animals Award for his compassionate act of allocating Rs 54 lakhs from a relief fund to efforts to feed community animals in five municipal corporations and all 48 municipalities of Odisha during the COVID-19 lockdown.
In an address to the nation last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Due to the lockdown, animals are also facing trouble. I appeal to people to take care of the animals around them.” And MP Maneka Gandhi instructed those who feed community animals to keep up their work to prevent the starvation of cows, dogs, and others.
The central government advisory body the Animal Welfare Board of India issued an advisory on 23 March urging state governments and union territories to allow animal welfare volunteers to feed community animals.
Another circular, issued by the central Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries on 23 March, mandated that veterinary services and animal shelters be allowed to function as normal and that veterinary services be included on the list of “essential services“.
Expressing his gratitude for the recognition, Naveen said:
“Thanks PETA for the recognition. In this distressing times, the usual activities of taking care of community animals has taken a back seat. But they too deserve our compassion and care as they are dependent on us. I appeal everyone to be compassionate and support lives near us during these hard times.”
Naveen received a framed certificate and a letter of appreciation from PETA India. Previous recipients of our Hero to Animals Award include:
Shilpa Shetty Kundra for speaking out against the cruelty of circuses and taking other actions for animals;
Delhi Minister of Food and Civil Supplies, Environment & Forests and Elections Imran Hussain for protecting the lives of humans and other animals by banning all forms of manja;
Zareen Khan for rescuing a cat from the streets;
Cyrus Broacha for refusing to perform a stunt that involved riding a bull;
Rani Mukerji for helping a dog in distress on her film set;
Asin for saving a dog who had been hit by a car;
Imran Khan for stopping a dog trainer who was smacking a dog on a film set; Sadha for helping a puppy who had just avoided being hit by a car during a rainstorm; and
Dia Mirza’s production house, Born Free Entertainment, for showing that homeless animals make wonderful additions to families.