After the Harlem Shake, the internet’s new fascination has been the Ice Bucket Challenge, sometimes called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on someone’s head to promote awareness of the disease ‘amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)’ and encourage donations to research has become a viral sensation on social media.
According to The New York Times people shared more than 1.2 million videos on Facebook between June 1 and August 13 and mentioned the phenomenon more than 2.2 million times on Twitter between July 29 and August 17. While the awareness has risen, the donations have spiked up. The ALS Association, which had raised $64 million in all of 2013, states to have raised more than $10 million on Thursday, August 21, 2014 alone.
Celebrities and commoners, all coming together for a cause, donating while having fun is great. But the Ice Bucket Challenge over the time has turned into an obsession to go viral on social media, specially in a country where getting clean drinking water is tough. With the Bollywood celebrities joining in the rage you are left with two questions – how many are aware of the cause, and how many would do these same stunts if it was for an Indian charity?
NDTV reports that while the madness continues on the Facebook timelines, Hyderabad-based journalist Manju Latha Kalanidhi has come up with an ingenious way to help those in need with the Rice Bucket Challenge.
Manju states on Facebook that it is the Indian version for Indian needs. “Desi challenge for desi needs, cook a bowl of rice and feed the needy. Tag #RiceBucketChallenge and challenge your friends.” One can also donate medicines worth Rs. 100 to the nearest government hospital.
“The idea of dunking oneself in icy cold water, shrieking in horror and then uploading the bizarre video felt preposterous. I wanted to just do something local, meaningful without wasting anything.” says Manju while speaking to Quartz. “So rice replaced water here.”
She further added, “Response has been staggering. You can donate to any needy person—a poor kid, a vegetable seller, your maid, driver, watchman, orphanage, etc.”
The Facebook page is witnessing images being posted by people taking up the challenge and donating rice; also donations are pouring in. The page has got more than 11k fans and it looks like the beginning for a much required cause to be taken up in the country.
In a country where clean water is precious, celebrities and influential people wasting water and posting videos is just insane. The Rice Bucket challenge is the much required charity for a developing country like India where hunger needs are shocking. According to the Global Hunger Index, India’s level of hunger is at “alarming levels” – it is one of three countries outside Sub-Saharan Africa in that category, the others being Haiti and Timor Leste.
The charity may not be as cool as the Ice Bucket Challenge but needs all the support it can garner on social networks. Any Bollywood celebrity up for taking the ‘Rice Bucket Challenge’, posting it on social media and getting it viral?