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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Lifestyle

Ice is passe, take the #RiceBucketChallenge
Rhema Mukti Baxter, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, August 26, 2014
First Published: 15:44 IST(26/8/2014)
Last Updated: 16:01 IST(26/8/2014)

Had enough of the #IceBucketChallenge dowsing your newsfeeds? From the makers of all things jugaad comes the perfect example of the swag that we Indians are capable of: a desi version of the ice bucket — the #RiceBucketChallenge.

“Desi Challenge for Desi Needs, Cook or buy one bucket of Rice / Biryani and feed the needy. Tag #RiceBucketChallenge and challenge your friends” reads the Facebook page.

Manju Latha Kalanidhi
>To participate in this exercise, cook or buy a vat of rice and feed someone who needs it. Don’t forget to ask your friends to pay it forward. Now isn’t that easily the most guilt proof way to donate to charity and end up playing the social media game without the qualms over wasting water? Or ice.

“I appreciated the #IceBucketChallenge but was ­cynical about wasting water. I decided that instead of ­blindly aping the West, I would Indianise the concept. If not a bucket of rice, one can donate a bowl, bag or at least a fistful,” says Hyderabad-based journalist Manju Latha Kalanidhi, 38, the brain behind the grains.

Coincidentally, the ideator Kalanidhi is a senior editor for a rice research website Oryza. “Like Kolaveri Di, the rice bucket caught on like viral fever. To paraphrase Shah Rukh Khan (from Chennai Express)Don’t underestimate the power of social media.” The three day old Facebook page had close to 29000 likes at the time of going to press.
 
Bollywood is also waking up to this version. Actor Suchitra Krishnamoorthi tweeted a picture of her donating rice to the needy. “The Indian #ricebucket ­challenge. Donate a bucket of rice/food to the needy,” she wrote. Her ­nominees included her ex-husband, Shekhar Kapur, and Ken Ghosh, another filmmaker. Last checked, Ghosh had accepted the challenge with vigour.

PS: For the uninitiated, this is NOT a parody of Miley Cyrus’ take on the #IceBucketChallenge where she dumped a vat of rice on her head. That was a sheer waste of carbohydrates.

Actor Suchitra Krishnamoorthi takes the rice challenge

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