Actor-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt has responded after PETA India honoured her with an award for being the first Indian director to ‘pledge never to use animals in films’. Taking to Twitter, Pooja shared pictures of PETA India CEO Manilal Valliyate’s letter to her. (Also Read | Pooja Bhatt says she watched theatre audiences ‘whistle, scream’ for sister Alia Bhatt during Gangubai Kathiawadi)
The letter read, “Dear Ms Bhatt, We are immensely grateful to you for being the first director in the country to pledge never to use animals in films, on behalf of Fish Eye Network. This commitment is sure to be an inspiration for filmmakers around the world and will thus spare animals distress and injury on and off set.”
It also added, “We are delighted to present you with PETA India’s Compassionate Film Production Company Award as a gesture of our appreciation for your kindness to animals. Congratulations!”
Sharing the letter, Pooja tweeted, “Thank you for the honour @PetaIndia. Delighted to be leading from the front on this one & pledging to never use animals in any films or content I create. Will rely on computer graphics if a film/show of mine ever has an animal written into it. Urge more filmmakers to join in (folded hands emoji).”
Reacting to the post, a fan wrote, “You are an angel, Pooja. Love & hugs..” Another person commented, “Super proud !” Another said, “More power to you! Thank you for always showing compassion, it’s a driving force to change.”
This is not the first time that Pooja has been honoured by PETA India. Last year, she won the Hero to Animals Award for International Animal Rights Day. As per PETA India, she supported their campaign to ‘ban horse-drawn carriages in Mumbai, supported a call for the release of a captive elephant named Malti who was mercilessly beaten near Jaipur, and informed people on social media how easily manja (sharp kite string) can injure and kill birds’.
Pooja made her directorial debut with Paap in 2004, starring John Abraham and Udita Goswami. She has also directed Holiday (2006), Dhokha (2007), Kajraare (2010) and Jism 2 (2012).
Meanwhile, Pooja will be a part of Sudhanshu Saria’s directorial Sanaa, which features Radhika Madan in the lead role. Produced by Four Line Entertainment, directed and written by Sudhanshu, Sanaa follows the story of a headstrong and ambitious girl (Radhika), waging an internal battle that is rooted in unhealed trauma. Apart from Sanaa, Pooja will also be seen in R Balki’s film Chup: Revenge of the Artist with Sunny Deol.