The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has named O P Jindal Global Universitys student Ayan Banerjee as its 2020 ‘volunteer of the year’.
According to a PETA statement, Ayan, 18, is a vegan and he joined PETA India’s volunteer ranks two years ago.
“Since then, he has shown dedication in working to inform young people about animal rights.
He has visited schools in Mussoorie to give talks to students on the benefits of vegan eating. In collaboration with the Allahabad Museum, Ayan took part in a 200-kilometre run – visiting numerous colleges, distributing leaflets, and spreading the word about vegan eating,” the statement said.
He also helped staff a PETA India stall at the vegan Ahimsa Yoga and Music Festival in January this year and took part in a PETA India street theatre-style demonstration in Allahabad encouraging onlookers to consider adopting a lovable Indian dog from the streets or an animal shelter instead of buying a dog.
During the pandemic, he encouraged students to join PETA Youth’s online webinar on vegan eating. He has taken part in and encouraged friends to take part in various PETA India missions, like a vegan cooking challenge and a Friendship Day activity motivating the public to adopt animals.
Ayan also uses social media to spread awareness of animal rights and feeds community dogs and cats.
He also encourages fellow students to conduct virtual Compassionate Citizen workshops.
Compassionate Citizen is PETA India’s award-winning humane education programme designed to instil empathy for animals in children aged 8 to 12.