The now-viral ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ may have raised plenty of money and awareness for motor neurone disease but it is also fast-becoming a not-inconsiderable annoyance with many jumping on the bandwagon because it’s ‘fashionable’.
Now a journalist from Hyderabad has decided to leverage the popularity of the challenge for a good cause by coming up with an Indian version called the ‘Rice Bucket Challenge’.
Instead of wasting all that perfectly-good water, Manjulatha Kalanidhi is encouraging people to cook or donate a bowl or bag of rice to a poor person.
“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 Ms Kalanidhi.
The idea seems to have hit a chord with a Facebook page created on Friday amassing more than 13,000 Likes.
“The response has been staggering,” says Ms Kalanidhi. “You can donate to any needy person—a poor kid, a vegetable seller, your maid, driver, watchman, orphanage etc.”
Ms Kalanidhi got the Rice Bucket Challenge underway by donating to a labourer who sells Idlis in a small stall in Hyderabad.
Whilst the challenge may not be “fashionable” or produce spectacular videos like those made by Microsoft CEO Bill Gates or Sir Patrick Stewart, Ms Kalanidhi hopes it will do some good.
Despite India’s much-talked about economic growth story, the country’s level of hunger remains at “alarming levels” according to the Global Hunger Index.