School children across Madhya Pradesh may soon get lessons in compassion. A decision in this regard was taken after a meeting was held between representatives of People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and Rashmi Arun Shami, former commissioner, Rajya Shiksha Kendra and Secondary Education.
She has now asked all schools to include PETA’s humane-education programme, Compassionate Citizen, as part of their teachers’ training module. Teachers would be given training on how to sensitize kids and teach them to be kind to animals.
“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. “Tolerance and compassion are vital because they are essential to the effort to stem violence in society at large.”
“This request had come to us around one and half years ago and since then it was under consideration. It is a wonderful message for the society. We should definitely teach our children when they are young to respect every atom of life. This also applies to homeless animals and birds but not only the ones on the verge of extinction. We can also plan a few special progammes regarding the same issue in future,” says Deepak Joshi, minister of state, school and higher education.
Compassionate Citizen is PETA India’s version of the internationally recognised PETA US’ humane-education programme ‘Share the World’, which is designed to sensitise children to be kind to animals.
The programme has been endorsed by the Animal Welfare Board of India and the Central Board of Secondary Education. Other states endorsing the programme include Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Delhi, Goa, Haryana, Kerala, and Uttarakhand.