Mumbai: For using her massive star power and far-reaching digital presence to advocate for the protection of all animals, Judwaa 2 actor and long-time animal rights proponent Jacqueline Fernandez has won People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India’s Digital Activism Award in the lead-up to National Technology Day on 11 May.
Her actions for animals online include using social media to ask her fans to support PETA India’s #FreeGajraj campaign – an effort that ultimately helped free an elephant used by a temple who had been kept in chains for over 50 years.
“Animals in need have a strong ally in Jacqueline Fernandez,” says PETA India Associate Director of Celebrity and Public Relations Sachin Bangera. “PETA India is thrilled to recognise her use of social media for powerful animal rights activism and looks forward to standing beside her as she continues to blaze a better trail for animals.”
Her work for the group includes writing a letter to the Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai asking him to bring relief to the horses used for joyrides in the city.
She appeared in a print campaign urging the public to avoid horse-drawn carriages and even met the Mayor of Mumbai to discuss the suffering of these horses.
Fernandez also teamed up with PETA India and Lakmé Fashion Week to promote the adoption of dogs who are languishing in animal shelters or living on the streets.
In the digital realm, her past work with PETA India – whose motto reads, “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way” – includes successfully rallying support for a nationwide ban on the importation and sale of cosmetics that were tested on animals.
She urged her fans to help bring relief to the horses in Mumbai who are forced to haul Victoria carriages.
She has also taken to Twitter to call for the release of the once-abused elephant Sunder, encouraged people to adopt animal companions from shelters, and urged her fans to try vegan eating during the holy month of Lent.
She helped call attention to the plight of animals abused in circuses and reminds her fans to take care of animals during the summer.
Fernandez was previously named PETA India’s 2014 Woman of the Year.