As people across India were busy preparing to celebrate a joyous Diwali, Animal Rahat was also preparing, ensuring as best it could that animals would be safe during the holiday.

Many people flouted fireworks bans, but through the group’s humane education program, more than 6,600 children throughout Maharashtra signed a pledge not to let off firecrackers and to be considerate of animals at all times.

Children listen intently as they learn about animals.

They learned that all animals can get scared and panic and that when barrages of fireworks burst into the air, many animals will try to flee, leave their familiar home territory, and become lost, never to find their way back. Some may even be hit by vehicles or trapped in a sewer or somewhere else in which they’ve tried to hide.

Companion animals must be kept safe during holidays like Diwali.

In addition, the children vowed to try to get others not to set off firecrackers, either, and promised to call Animal Rahat for help if they ever spot an animal in trouble.

These children are beacons of compassion.