Sunny, a pharmacist from Tumkur, an erstwhile stock market professional, was always concerned about animal welfare. He started working as a volunteer in GGF-run gaushala at Tumkur where around 500 mostly sick, injured and old cattle are nurtured. The animal shelter is also home to horses, dogs and cats. The passion of the volunteers at the gaushala inspired Sunny to take his love for animals forward and he, along with the other volunteers of GGF - Gau Gyan Foundation, always discussed about ameliorating the condition of stray animals. They saw that during summers the drains and all possible water sources dry up as a result of which animals and birds meet a thirsty end. Sunny decided to take on the responsibility of providing water to his neighbourhood animals and started keeping pots of water at places visited most often by dogs, cats, horses, cows, birds and other strays.
Sunny says “ It was a pity to see animals dying of thirst. Temperatures are soaring and animals scout for water sources which due to the intense heat have mostly dried up. The day I kept the first pot, I saw scores of animals drinking from it and it was a heartening sight”. Sunny and other volunteers started approaching friends and relatives to replicate the same in their localities. They even approached shopkeepers and encouraged them to keep water pots for birds and animals in front of their shops and refill the water daily.
Sunny shares “ The word spread and soon enough, we raised a modest sum with which we bought 100 pots which were distributed free of cost to people wishing to partake in the initiative”. Three types of pots were made - one each for small animals, large animals and birds. Local potters were approached and cement pots were specially designed and ordered. Sunny says of the choice of using cement “ Cement pots are heavy and cannot be stolen. Sadly, all the 24 pots we kept in Hubli were stolen in a single day. We painted the pots with water paint to prevent formation of moss and to keep the water cool”.
GGF has kept around 400 such pots in Hubli, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Tumkur and shortly the same initiative will start in Chennai and Hospet and extend to other parts of the country. The modus operandi involves meeting neighbourhood shopkeepers and residents and encouraging them to keep these pots in their locations. The pots are supplied free of cost. Volunteers go to the spots regularly and ensure that the water is being refilled by the shopkeepers/residents/ anybody who has undertaken the said responsibility. The volunteers survey different parts of the city and keep the pots in areas where animals congregate or are located. They have had an astounding response and hope that animal lovers across the county will embark on this initiative.
Sunny says “We will be happy to share our modus operandi to whoever wishes to replicate the same. The temperatures are rising by the day and it is going to get only worse. As for the free pots, within the cities we operate, we are trying our best to increase the points where pots can be placed and will be happy to give them. The pots are heavy and not easy to transport; in fact the transportation cost is more than the cost of the pots themselves. We do not want to see any stray animal suffer or die due to thirst”. Sunny and Team GGF are ensuring that at least some animals are surely not going to sleep thirsty.
Like Dalai Lama said “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive”.
You can contact the following numbers if you wish to be part of the initiative and can support it in any way..
Hubli - 9844789921
Bengaluru - 9611445488 / 9964939316
Tumkur - 9844203467
Hospet - 9902900083
Images Courtesy : GGF.