With summer temperatures soaring higher than ever before, a piece of advice most people get from their family and friends is to stay hydrated at all times.
While it is easy for most of us to carry a bottle of water or perhaps buy one, a Vijayawada NGO is sparing a thought for the ones who can’t.
Hundreds of stray animals, as well as birds, die due to the scorching heat and lack of access to clean drinking water.
The city-based Indian Institute of Jeeva Karunya and Research Centre NGO is making special provisions for drinking water for stray animals like dogs, cats, cows etc. at various nooks and corners across the city, reported the New Indian Express.
With over 150 water containers, which are diligently cleaned and refilled every alternate day by volunteers, this initiative is ensuring these voiceless animals don’t get dehydrated.
Also once the containers are placed, timely refilling and maintenance have been taken up by local philanthropists and animal lovers.
Speaking to the publication, M Venkateswarulu, who spearheaded the project through his NGO said,
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“Temperatures during summer often crossed 45 degree Celsius, which proved fatal for birds and stray animals. It is sad to see several stray cows and dogs desperately looking for water and drinking dirty water from gutters as they fail to find clean water,” he said.
The initiative has successfully ensured that several cows and dogs who roam in the vicinity searching for water, come and quench their thirst.
“I have also taken pictures of them drinking water and forwarded those to several of my friends and philanthropists through social media platforms and asked them to replicate the initiative in their localities during summer,’’ said Venkateswarulu.
Many others NGOs across the country have been taking similar initiatives for strays, under the banner of ‘the Water Bowl Project’ – where concrete bowls that can hold almost around five litres of water at a time are placed at spots with many thirsty strays. And all it needs is refilling and cleaning every alternate day.
You too, in your own small way, can be a part of this project.
If you live on a higher floor of the building, take a small container, fill it with water and keep it on the parapet opposite your window. You could help birds like pigeons, crows etc. quench their thirst.
If you are against utilising a container you use at home, pool in money to buy a concrete bowl with a few friends and place it outside your building compound or other nooks and corners of the street.
One disadvantage of concrete bowls, despite its shelf life, is that water in it tends to heat up. Also, they are not the most eco-friendly alternative available.
If you know a potter in the vicinity buying terracotta pots in bulk could be reasonable. “It also naturally keeps the water cooler. In case they break, all you need to do is powder them and put them back into the soil since terracotta is natural clay and there is usually no added chemical,” animal lover and co-founder of the Bangalore chapter of Waterbowl project Sanjana Govindan Jayadev told Bangalore Mirror.
Water charity has been a longstanding custom in India. When we don’t deny a stranger arriving at our doorstep a glass of water, why deny it to thirsty strays we encounter every day?
(Edited By Vinayak Hegde)