CHENNAI: Hoping to replicate the ice bucket challenge that trended heavily a while ago, animal lovers in the city are gearing up for the water bowl challenge this weekend. To popularise the concept of placing bowls of water outside homes, tea kadais and even auto stands for strays to drink from, Arun Prasanna of People for Cattle of India (PFCI) says, “We will have a social media campaign where photos will be posted and each person who buys a bowl from us can then tag 10 people challenging them to do the same.”
Although the concept has been around for over a decade, this year, massive resources have been deployed to make the challenge something of a movement — from celebrities roped in to popularise the campaign to large numbers of volunteers getting together to offer a door delivery option on weekends.
Sathya Radhakrishnan, joint secretary of the Blue Cross of India says, “We plan to distribute over 2,000 water bowls this year, our biggest number yet.” There’s a number painted on the bottom of each bowl through which a volunteer can track the person who took it and where he or she took it to.
Although distribution will begin this Friday, volunteer Karthik Dhandapani says, “Several schools and colleges have already placed bulk orders, and some have requested as many as 300 bowls to be placed at points around their campus.”
With the weather getting hotter every day, keep in mind this initiative isn’t exclusively for Chennai’s stray canines. Adds Karthik, “It’s for cats, birds, cows...any animal that needs to stop for a drink of water.”
In the past, these bowls have been placed on streets outside homes, tea shops and even auto stands. The Blue Cross of India will begin their distribution of water bowls free of charge this weekend. For door delivery, contact 9840884583.
PFCI plans to rope in celebrities and kids affected by AIDS who love animals to handover the bowls at an event to be held at the Heart2Heart Veterinary Hospital on March 13. Each bowl is priced at Rs 200. A sum of Rs 50 from every purchase will go toward the medical care of an animal. For details, contact 9884071136.
■ Each bowl can hold at least 5 litres of water
■ The bowls are made of cement, so they are heavy enough to handle a bird’s weight without cracking, as well as bulky enough to deter people from picking them up and walking away
■ Volunteers have one request — that the bowls be washed and refilled with fresh water every two days