If you drive by Malshej Ghat on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route, you might spot several traffic guards armed with cartons full of water bottles. What’s unique about these water bottles, is that they’re not just designated to quench their own thirst but also that of the animals venturing out on the open road from nearby forests.  

Check out this video of Constable Sanjay Ghude, who is seen sharing his water with a stray rhesus monkey:

42-year-old Ghude was the first to pioneer this initiative. Ramesh Harne, a social worker from Murbad, spotted Ghude interacting with the monkey and stopped to witness Ghude calling out to the mammal and feeding it water from his own bottle. Naturally, he couldn’t resist recording the beautiful sight of humanity.

In an interview with Hindustan Times, Harne said, “While performing his duty for the people, he also efficiently helps the animals to cope up with the heat. I saw him cajoling the animals to come to him to get water. He ensures that he is gentle and do not scare them. Most people ignore the animals thinking it is the job of the forest department to provide water to them.”

Ghude who has been manning the Ghats for almost two years instinctually knows when an animal is thirsty. 

In the same interview, Ghude revealed: “Earlier, I was not able to understand why the animals used to venture out on the roads. Gradually, on observing them, I realised that they come out looking for water, especially in October and the summer months. During this time, the watering holes in the forest are dry. However, in this process, most of them meet with accidents. While patrolling in the daytime, apart from work, I started analysing their behaviour and started approaching animals with a bottle of water and sometimes taking a small pot in which I kept water for birds. Every day, we get four to five such animals. Now our team is together doing this work.”

I guess there is hope for humanity after all!