Indian tennis star Sania Mirza has donated an autographed racquet to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for auction, the proceeds from which will help provide relief to 'working animals'.
The racquet is being auctioned on the website eBay.in and the proceeds will go to 'Animal Rahat' which is supported by PETA India.
"The funds we raise from auctioning my tennis racquet will provide comfort to horses forced to pull heavy carts, bullocks who work in sugar mills and donkeys who are forced to labour in the brick kilns," Mirza said.
Mirza was the first Indian to win a Women's Tennis Association Tour title of any kind in the 2009 Australian Open. She also won the 2012 French Open in mixed doubles to claim her second Grand Slam title.
In addition to her many feats on the tennis court, Mirza was named one of the "50 Heroes of Asia" by Times and one of "33 Women Who Made India Proud" by The Economic Times.
Animal Rahat was founded in 2003 to give relief to horses, bullocks, donkeys and other animals who are forced to work. This life-saving programme offers services throughout three districts in Maharashtra state.
It is run by a staff that includes veterinarians, veterinary assistants, animal caretakers and a full-time community educator.
Some of the group's accomplishments include conducting vaccination camps, stopping cruel bullock races, enlisting the help of local police stations in averting animal abuse and confiscating countless whips, nose ropes, barbed-wire goads, horn paring equipment and other cruel devices that add misery to working animals' lives.