Bengaluru citizens lend a pot to keep strays cool in summer
The searing heat has started to take a toll on people, but more so on animals and birds who have no recourse in summer. A group of kind-hearted volunteers have therefore taken it upon themselves to ensure that no animal in the city goes thirsty, and are distributing water bowls to residents, as part a group, Water for Voiceless.
Conceived six years ago by Sunny Jain, a resident of Tumkur, this collective and has so far distributed more than 23,000 bowls across the country, with Bengaluru being the key focus area. Since the start of this year, they have already distributed 4,000 pots around the city, for free, in order to inspire people to take care of the needs of the voiceless. Jain says, “We aimed to make sure that clean water is available for drinking to all the animals around us, be it domestic or wild. This, we realised, was possible by creating a network of volunteers and more awareness among the masses.”
In Bengaluru, a 25 member strong team distributes cemented pots in two sizes — small size pots for birds that are suitable to place on the terrace and balcony and large size pots for stray dogs and cows, which can be placed near the entry gate of houses. Praful Maun, one of the volunteers with this group, explains how the collective operates: “We have four modes of distribution. First, we have a collection point from where people can pick up the pots. Second, many of our volunteers conduct door to door distribution of the water pots. We then do community drives in multiple areas. And lastly, we partake in institutional or corporate drives. Our volunteers conduct camps in schools, colleges, and even police stations to create awareness on the importance of water and water pots.”
The group is presently catering to around 25 centres in Bengaluru, including Vijaynagar, Cottonpet, Hosur, Domlur, HAL Basavanagar, Ulsoor, HSR Layout and HBR Layout; each centre has volunteers investing their time and effort for the noble cause. The latest feat has been the distribution of 225 water pots at St Joseph’s College in the city. “Our mission is to make water conservation, distribution of water for strays and planting of trees a part of school curriculum,” adds Jain.
Tina P Fernandes, a Bengaluru resident who has been distributing these water pots in the city, feels elated at the response of Bangaloreans, and says, “I initially joined the group because I thought I’ll take a few pots for my area, but later I started encouraging my family and friends to keep water for the voiceless. We now have a volunteers’ group where we coordinate for the distribution of pots... Even during the lockdown last year, I distributed close to 50 water pots in a day, from Koramangala to Bannerghatta road. People came till the main road junctions to collect these pots so that they could at least ensure clean water for the stray animals and birds.”
Author tweets @bhagat_mallika