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Get Ready For The Rice Bucket Challenge

The ice bucket challenge put amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the national spotlight. Everyone from George W. Bush to Lady Gaga participated. Even some Indians have done it – here’s a video of Akshay Kumar. With the ALS Association reporting over $70.2 million in donations, the movement has been hugely successful for the organization.

However, the ice bucket challenge didn’t make too much sense to Manju Latha Kalandhi. She’s a journalist from Hyderabad, an area of India with little clean water available for the challenge. “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.” Manju felt that other issues also needed the same attention ALS got, so she decided to make her own version – the rice bucket challenge. The rules are pretty simple: fill a bucket up with rice, find the nearest needy person, take a picture of them with the food, and put it on Facebook.

Challenge Instructions

Although it’s less than a week old, thousands of people have already accepted the challenge. Social media is rapidly spreading the message to areas all over the world. The Facebook page already has over 20,000 likes and the hashtag #RiceBucketChallenge is starting to trend on Twitter. There are even mass events, such as the one organized by Apoorva College for Wednesday.

Manju calls her challenge an “Indian version for Indian needs.” India definitely needs an answer to its hunger problem. A report by the Global Hunger Index indicated that over a quarter of the world’s 842 million starving people reside in India alone. About 21% of India’s population is undernourished, and 40% of children are underweight. These stark numbers highlight the sheer scope of the problem the country faces. While the rice bucket challenge probably won’t be able to resolve these issues, hopefully it can bring India – and world – hunger to the forefront of conversation, much like the ice bucket challenge did with ALS.

[Image Attribute: Rice Bucket Challenge Facebook Page]
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