If you are a social media user then you are probably already aware of the ‘ALS Ice bucket challenge’ that is viral on social media July- August this year!! One might think that the pouring of the Ice bucket might have significance in relation to ALS, however I personally could not find and literature in relation to the same.

What is ALS ICE bucket challenge?

(In case you are not aware) The Ice Bucket Challenge, is an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on someone’s head to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and encourage donations to research.

ICE bucket Challange 

What is ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): A-myo-trophic comes from the Greek language. “A” means no or negative. “Myo” refers to muscle, and “Trophic” means nourishment– i.e. “No muscle nourishment.” When a muscle has no nourishment, it “atrophies” or wastes away. “Lateral” identifies the areas in a person’s spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates it leads to scarring or hardening (“sclerosis“) in the region.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed[1].

Rules of this Ice Bucket challenge!

Within 24 hours of being challenged, participants have to record a video taking up the challenge. The challenge begins by person challenged announcing their acceptance of the challenge, followed by pouring ice into a bucket of water. Then the participant is expected to challenge other people to do the same. The entire thing is recorded on video and shared on social media.

  • Whether people choose to donate, perform the challenge, or do both varies. The participant is expected to donate $10 if they have poured the ice water over their head or donate $100 if they have not.
  • The popular version of the challenge is dumping the ice water over the participant’s head is done in lieu of any donation, which has led to some criticisms of the challenge being a form of “Mockery of fundraising campaign”.

The Indian version of the ICE bucket challenge, ‘The RICE bucket challenge’

Unlike the ICE bucket challenge where people believe in the later version the challenge and duck the Ice bucket only to escape the charity.  However in India, the RICE bucket challenge is charity all the way- ‘Desi’ (desi is a Hindi word meaning ‘Local’) Charity.

RICE Bucket- Brain Child of a young women form Hyderabad India, who after taking inspiration from the ALS ice bucket challenged, decided do charity but not by donating money rather in form of kind. Instead of donating cash to an organisation or project as member of the lower income strata of the society, she decided to donate a bucket of rice to someone in need. In most parts in India rice is the staple food for all. Hence while donating she took a picture of herself and posted it online tagging it as RICE bucket challenge. She did not release that the picture would go viral within hours of posting and will bring about supporters to the challenge- calling it wave of Tsunami in form of charity!

RICE bucket challange


Learning from both these challenges?

Never under- estimate the power of SOCIAL MEDIA (Especially for social good)!!


[1] http://www.alsa.org/about-als/what-is-als.html


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *