India’s Rice Bucket Challenge gives a ‘meaningful twist’ to ALS ice bucket challenge

Published: August 28, 2014

India #RiceBucketChallenge heroes

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India has created its own “desi” version of the ALS ice bucket challenge that has swept the globe.

Rice Bucket India poverty

India’s Rice Bucket Challenge. Facebook

While the original icy cold feat, which originated in the U.S., has crossed borders and drummed up international support – even reaching from Hollywood to Bollywood with stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Akshay Kumar taking part – it’s also met some criticism, often deemed egotistical and wasteful, with some stars, like Priyanka Chopra and Sonakshi Sinha, refusing to take part.

However, it’s still been an incredibly successful campaign, so India has followed suit, but with its own twist. Being a country where many suffer from a lack of clean water and proper sanitation and where drought remains a serious issue for farmers, the Indian challenge has replaced the bucket of ice and water with a bucket of rice, with the #RiceBucketChallenge.

A Facebook page for the Indian version, which describes itself as the “desi challenge for desi needs,” was created on Saturday and has already garnered more than 50,000 likes.

It asks people in India to instead take a bucket of rice and give it to the “nearest needy person,” then share a picture or video of them completing the task to Facebook, before challenging friends to do the same.

According to the Globe and Mail, the initiative stemmed from an Indian journalist who works for a rice research website and in its mere few days of existence its already gained endorsements from media, actors and politicians.

Chennai-based politician Subramanian Swamy posted to his Facebook page on Tuesday, calling it a “meaningful twist” to the original American challenge.

“If this catches on, a lot of poor will have food this month and we in return shall have the satisfaction of helping out the needy,” his post reads.

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