India has come up with a localized version of the chilling ice bucket challenge—the charity stunt that has gone viral on social media. The ALS ice bucket challenge involved participants posting videos of them having freezing water poured over them. The aim is to raise money and awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also called Lou Gerhig’s disease), a fatal neurodegenerative disease.
“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 38-year old Manju Latha Kalanidhi. “So rice replaced water here.”
The idea has hit all the right notes on social media. Its Facebook page, created yesterday, has already amassed nearly 7,000 fans in less than 24 hours.
“Response has been staggering,” says Manju. “You can donate to any needy person—a poor kid, a vegetable seller, your maid, driver, watchman, orphanage etc.”
Indians, both commoners and Bollywood royalty, have taken to the the original challenge of pouring ice cold water over one’s head. Here is a video of Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar taking the ice bucket challenge in chilly Cape Town: