Bollywood says yes to Meena, Gunya
Upala KBR (MID-DAY; August 6, 2018)

Having repeatedly spoken up on issues pertaining to animal welfare, Bollywood’s brightest didn’t disappoint when an activist took to social media to reveal that he was accepting donations for an animal welfare NGO. A PETA India associate director, Sachin Bangera, had stated that he was accepting food and medication for bullocks, Gunya and Hanmanth, and a cow, Meena, for the organisation, Animal Rahat, as part of his birthday festivities. Animal admirers Sonam K Ahuja, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Aathiya Shetty and Pooja Bhatt, along with boxing champion Vijender Singh, were among the first to lend their support.

Shilpa tells mid-day of her friend, Bangera, “He was trying to raise funds to sponsor the food and medicines of two bullocks and a cow at a sanctuary. I appreciated that, hence, I posted a tweet [about his effort] so that it could reach more people.”

Athiya speaks fondly of the organisation Bangera helms before adding, “I love animals, and believe that, since they don’t have a voice, we should support them. We should fight the battles that they can’t.”

Talking about the initiative, Bangera says that the team will aim to raise funds for a month, post which they will decide if further action must be taken. “The bullocks and cow are housed at the NGO in Sangli, along with the other animals that have been rescued from slavery or abandonment. The more the donation we receive, the better the care the animals will receive. The goal is to raise at least Rs 20,000, which will be sufficient to take care of these three animals for a month. I’d love to sponsor more animals if they’ve been abused or tortured.”

Bangera says that he had to do little to get help from Bollywood, given that most of them are associated with his organisation. Bhatt, he says, is deeply involved in rescue work. “She rescues animals in distress, sterilizes community cats and feeds them. She inspires me to do more.”