Caring for strays: Vijayawada NGO installs water containers to beat the heat

NGO founder M Venkateshwarlu says they have managed to put 150 water containers in different areas but more are needed.
Caring for strays: Vijayawada NGO installs water containers to beat the heat
Caring for strays: Vijayawada NGO installs water containers to beat the heat
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As temperatures rise, easy availability of drinking water is a major concern, especially for stray animals and one man in Vijayawada is doing his bit to help the strays get through the summer. 

M Venkateshwarlu is a Vijayawada-based animal lover and founder of Indian Institute of Jeeva Karunya and Research Centre - an NGO working for the rescue of stray animals.

Speaking to TNM, Venkateshwarlu said, "The temperature has gone up and they (strays) are drinking filthy / contaminated water and getting life-threatening diseases, so we wanted to put an end to that.”

As they have been doing for the last five years, Venkateshwarlu and his team have provided water containers across the city.

Throughout the last week, he and his team have managed to fix as many as 150 water containers in different places like Bhavanipuram, HB Colony, Gandhinagar, Lenincentre ,SN Puram and Singh Nagar.

The drinking water drive is being handled by two persons - one will clean the cement containers while the other (tanker driver) will fill them up regularly.

67-year-old Venkateshwarlu is a retired Road Transport Corporation employee and has been working for the welfare of stray animals for the last 30 years.

Speaking about the expenses for 150 containers and water management for them, he said, "We have nearly 70 old containers and now we have bought over 70 more, but the city still needs more water containers and we might be able to serve only a few strays with this."

This year, the NGO has spent Rs 40,000 for providing safe water facility to stray animals and also incurred monthly expenses of Rs 37,000.

Venkateshwarlu suggests that people across the city should take up the drive to save stray animals. The city has as many as 10,000 stray dogs and one-fourth of them are slowly dying with diseases that come from contaminated water and food, he says. 

While acknowledging the lack of funds for animal-friendly drive to be a major hindrance, Venkateshwarlu welcomed the support from philanthropists and animal lovers who have come forward to give a better life to stray animals. 

Jeeva Karunya Centre is also running a stray dog rehabilitation centre in Bhavanipuram, where diseased and injured dogs are given treatment and care.

"Once the treatment is over, we release them in their respective areas from where we picked them up,” Venkateshwarlu says. 

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