Actor-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt has reacted after PETA India presented him with an award for being the first Indian director to “pledge never to use animals in films”. Taking to Twitter, Pooja shared photos of the letter PETA India CEO Manilal Valliyate sent to her. (Also read | Pooja Bhatt says she saw the theater audience “whistling, shouting” for her sister Alia Bhatt during Gangubai Kathiawadi)
The letter read: “Dear Ms. Bhatt, We are extremely grateful to you for being the first director in the country to pledge never to use animals in film, on behalf of the Fish Eye Network. This commitment is sure to be an inspiration to filmmakers around the world and will spare the distress and injury of animals on and off set.
He also added, “We are delighted to present you with the PETA India Compassionate Film Production Company Award in appreciation for your kindness to animals. Congratulations!”
Sharing the letter, Pooja tweeted, “Thank you for the honor @PetaIndia. Delighted to be at the helm of this and pledging never to use animals in any films or content I create. Will rely on infographic if a movie/show of mine has ever written an animal on it. Urge more filmmakers to join us (folding hands emoji).”
Reacting to the post, one fan wrote, “You are an angel, Pooja. Love and hugs..” Another person commented, “Super proud!” Another said, “More power to you! Thank you for always showing compassion, it’s a driving force for change.”
This isn’t the first time Pooja has been honored by PETA India. Last year, she won the Hero to Animals award for International Animal Rights Day. According to PETA India, she supported their campaign to “ban horse-drawn carriages in Mumbai, backed a call for the release of a captive elephant named Malti who was mercilessly beaten near Jaipur, and informed people on social media of the ease with which the manja (pointed string kite) can injure and kill birds”.
Pooja made her directorial debut with Paap in 2004, starring John Abraham and Udita Goswami. She also directed Holiday (2006), Dhokha (2007), Kajraare (2010) and Jism 2 (2012).
Meanwhile, Pooja will be part of director Sanaa by Sudhanshu Saria, which stars Radhika Madan in the lead role. Produced by Four Line Entertainment, directed and written by Sudhanshu, Sanaa follows the story of a stubborn and ambitious girl (Radhika), waging an internal battle rooted in unhealed trauma. Besides Sanaa, Pooja will also be seen in R Balki’s film Chup: Revenge of the Artist with Sunny Deol.