Five-time world champion M C Mary Kom has joined the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in promoting its humane-education programme, Compassionate Citizen.
As part of the initiative, the Olympic bronze-medallist has written a letter to the education ministers of states and union territories across India requesting that the programme, be incorporated into the official curriculum of schools in the region for children ages 8 to 12.
In the letter, Mary Kom points out that violence against animals by children is often an early sign of future acts of violence against humans.
"One of the best ways to knock out cruelty to animals is to teach compassion to young people", Mary Kom wrote.
"Animals need us in their corner. With violence seemingly all around us, it is more important than ever that we teach lessons of respect and kindness in the classroom."
PETA claimed that 'Compassionate Citizen' has been voluntarily used in more than 15,000 private and government schools and has reached more than three million children across India.
The Animal Welfare Board of India -- a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests -- has also asked the state and union territory education ministers to incorporate Compassionate Citizen into their official curriculum, PETA said.