Dhruv Balwada of Goa bags Gibson guitar from PetaDishoom

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Panaji, Jun 25 (UNI) Beating more than 5,000 contestants from across India, 19-year-old Dhruv Balwada - a third-year chemical engineering student at BITS-Pilani, Goa - received a Gibson guitar from PetaDishoom, the youth division of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for his compassion for animal.

The giveaway marks the second anniversary of PetaDishoom, which has grown into a force of more than 20,000 energetic young activists who raise their voices to challenge cruel, outdated attitudes about animals.

''Winning this guitar was unbelievable. Considering the fact that I have never won anything like this in my life, this feels awesome! I would just like to say that if you think about animals, God will think about you,'' Dhruv said.

Although Dhruv might have to learn a few things about his new guitar before he gets ready to strike centre stage, one area where he doesn't need lessons is compassion for animals.

Dhruv volunteered his time and services to help out at the PETA stalls during his college's QUARK 2008 and Waves 2008 festivals, and proved indispensable in the petition drive for PETA's Kentucky Fried Cruelty campaign, which aims to turn up the heat on the fast-food chain to stop KFC suppliers' worst farming and slaughter abuses of chickens.

''It's very rewarding to see youngsters like Dhruv getting active for animals and speaking up for them,'' Simran Kodesia of PetaDishoom said.

''Young people across India are taking heed of our message that animals do have rights, deserve respect and protection,'' she added.

The giveaway was a joint venture between PetaDishoom, Gibson Guitar Corporation and anECHO, a website that promotes animal rights by showcasing animal-friendly rock bands, a PETA release here today.

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