The star of the Netflix black comedy ‘Pagglait’, Sanya Malhotra, is ready to turn heads all over again in a new World Elephant Day (August 12) campaign with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India.
Shot by ace photographer Taras Taraporvala, the ad features Malhotra with a ghastly ‘cut’ on her face seemingly made by an ‘ankus’ (a sharp-edged device used to control elephants), asking her fans to “try to relate” to the animal’s fate by never riding an elephant. Her hairstyling and make-up were done by Natasha Mathias.
“When I act on screen or dance, I do so because it brings me true joy. But the elephants used for ‘joyrides’ and performances don’t have a choice at all: they are beaten into submission and usually never get to see their families again,” Malhotra said.
Often when they’re just two years old, baby elephants are torn away from their mothers and either tied up between trees with heavy chains and ropes – causing painful burns – or confined to a cramped wooden enclosure called a ‘kraal’.
To break their spirits and force them to obey, trainers beat the young elephants with sticks and jab them with the ‘ankus’ – a weapon with a sharp metal hook on one end, such as the one shown in the ad featuring Malhotra.
Malhotra mostly appears in Hindi films and has had recent parts in ‘Shakuntala Devi’ and ‘Ludo’. Her upcoming film roles include ones in the romantic comedy ‘Meenakshi Sundareshwar’ and with Vikrant Massey and Bobby Deol in ‘Love Hostel’.