India: Donkeys given awards in Bangalore

Donkey crossing a river in India Image copyright AFP
Image caption Politician Vatal Nagaraj says he will honour animals every month, starting with donkeys

An Indian politician has honoured two donkeys for their hard work and loyalty, it's been reported.

The animals were presented with awards in the southern city of Bangalore by Vatal Nagaraj, who heads a regional political party, the NDTV website reports. "I have decided to honour all domestic animals like donkeys, dogs, buffaloes, cows and oxen, as they are more loyal than human beings, hard-working, disciplined and obedient," says Mr Nagaraj, who showered the animals with rose petals during the event. Dressed up in shawls and colourful beads for their moment in the spotlight, the donkeys caused some amusement among observers at the less-than-glamorous venue for the ceremony - the city's inter-state bus station.

Mr Nagaraj says donkeys, used widely as a working animal in India, are often ignored. "No applications invited, no applications received. And no juries set up to choose the candidates... the most unique award ceremony in the world," he said prior to the ceremony. And Bangalore can expect more animal awards in the future; Mr Nagaraj has promised to honour them every month "in recognition of their contribution to us". The politician is known for carrying out unusual, headline-grabbing protests. In 2011, he rode through the town of Chamarajanagar on a buffalo to protest rising fuel prices.

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