Water Bowl Project: Quench the Thirst of Animals on the Street!

Blue Cross of India is an organization that is involved in rescuing, protecting and caring for animals on the streets. They are based out of Chennai. I visited their premises on Saturday, to know more about their Water Bowl project.

Before a few years, I accompanied a foreigner who came to India (for the first time). While traveling in a taxi, he pointed to some roadside dogs and asked me, “Who cares for these dogs – how do they grow up?”. I must admit that such a thought never occurred to me earlier and I just shrugged my shoulders. The concept that dogs could be left on the streets, was alien to him – I guess!  

The Water Bowl project is a collaborative initiative by the Blue Cross of India. It invites residents of Chennai to provide drinking water to dogs/cats/cows/birds on the street during the summer (when dehydration is high) and tries to prevent animals from suffering due to lack of water. The water bowl you see in these photos is heavy, made of cement (tough to break) and can hold 5 liters of water.

Anyone can pick up the water bowl(s) from the Velachery center of Blue Cross (for free) or they can request volunteers to deliver it to them (for a nominal delivery charge of Rs. 50). Once they get it, people are expected to fill it up with clean water (filtered water is preferred, but even tap water is okay) and keep the bowl in front of their houses or street corners, for animals/birds to drink.

This is one such water-filled bowl kept at the Blue Cross center. Getting the bowl and keeping it on the road is only half the work – it needs to be refilled (and cleaned) maybe 3-4 times, every day. Dust and litter on the road may find its way into the water!

I asked Blue Cross members how these animals get food and water, generally. It seems, animals are dependent on food waste (from road side eateries and landfills) and rain water puddles. The reason dogs get rashes on their skin is because they come in contact with the chemicals we dump in waste yards. Another reason why you would want to rethink the use of chemicals in your day-to-day life. Chemicals are neither good to you, nor good for animals/birds!

On the day I went, a few guys came to Blue Cross center, to collect water bowls. Since they had some time, they also decided to volunteer – the above photo shows them painting the bowls. Note: The cement bowls are quite heavy, so you might want to bring a car. If you are going by bike, make sure there is a pillion rider who can hold the bowl. Easiest way to get the bowl is to fill up this online form and Blue Cross volunteers will deliver it to your home.

Last year, they distributed 700 water bowls across Chennai and this year they want to distribute more than 1000. We can make it happen!

I also saw one family that had come there to adopt a puppy. It seems, Blue Cross conducts regular adoption drives, but people need not wait for the drive to adopt puppies, they can walk-in anytime. The procedure to adopt puppies is also very simple. They had more than 200 puppies (waiting to be adopted) when I went there.

A volunteer said that no puppy should be on the street, when there are so many homes. They should be a part of every family. I agree. After all, dogs have a rare and an appealing quality – loyalty!

Destination Infinity


  • KP

    A thoughtful post especially when the mercury is shooting up.But this holds good for other seasons too.We use stainless steel bowls presently.

    • Rajesh K

      Good to know that you are already providing water to animals/birds. I am thinking of keeping something similar to this, on my terrace. For the birds.

      Destination Infinity

    • Karthik D

      HI, yes, u r right. this hold good for any season. And the reason, we use cement bowls is that they are heave, that anyone cant lift it and go when there is no one around the bowl.

    • Rajesh K

      The bowl has been made with cement and is very heavy. That is to discourage people from lifting it or breaking it. But, of course, anything is possible. Even if a few bowls are lost, the remaining ones might be useful for quenching the thirst of animals/birds, in the scorching summer of Chennai!

      Destination Infinity

  • Shilpa Garg

    A noble cause indeed!! We have a bird feeder and a water bowl in our balcony! Loved this idea, must keep bowls of water outside our apartment complex too! Thanks for sharing about this, Rajesh!

    • Rajesh K

      Good to know that you already place the bird feeder and a water bowl in your balcony. I am planning to put a small bowl with water on our terrace (for birds), shortly.

      Destination Infinity

    • Rajesh K

      Thanks to Karthik (and others associated with Blue Cross), for the patient explanation, when I visited the Blue Cross premises. It’s your efforts that enabled me to write this article.

      Destination Infinity

  • deepak singh rauthan

    What a great life saving life changing life making idea sir ji……absolutely blessful had doing this great gesture of kindness for long time it’s give a real soul satisfaction to me ……god bless all those kindhearted ppl who care for all those struggling helpless life in difficult trying situation…..

    • Rajesh K

      With some inspiration, I am sure more people will start caring for struggling and helpless animals and birds on the road.

      Destination Infinity

  • Sathya Radhakrishnan

    Thanks so much for this wonderful blog , Rajesh on one of the many things we do for animals . Do drop in to see the other work we do too.. in terms of Rescues , ABCs etc..

    Hope you have taken a Water-bowl too..

    Thanks & Warm regards
    Sathya Radhakrishnan
    Honorary Joint Secretary
    Blue Cross of India
    Mobile – 09789096602
    Landline -044-42129783

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    • Rajesh K

      Thanks for your comment, Sir. Blue Cross is doing all the good work – I am just spreading the word. I had a small introduction to the other activities that you are involved in, will try to learn more when I visit Blue Cross premises again.

      Destination Infinity

  • Avada Kedavra

    Where is the like button for the post DI? Loved the initiative taken by blue cross. Even I have often wondered how these dogs find water to drink. Their condition is pitiable. Wish more cities adopt this idea.

  • Jeevan

    That’s really a good intention to distribute water bowls and nice to know blue cross does this job. Few Sundays’ back I read in newspaper that there was a free distribution of water bowls at Elliot beach, but I couldn’t sent anyone to get a bowl for birds.
    Ok. I will get one bowl by filling the form. Thanks for sharing

    • Rajesh K

      You can go to Blue Cross premises in Velacherry High Road or you can click the link in the article, fill up the online form and they will send the water bowl to you (50 rupees delivery charges will apply).

      Destination Infinity