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Ice & rice at loggerheads

From Lady Gaga to Harrison Ford, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has fascinated thousands across the globe and the Odia youth doesn’t want to be left behind. Namita Panda and Pratyush Patra of The Telegraph find out if Bhubaneswar prefers the Ice Bucket Challenge or the Rice Bucket Challenge

HOW IT STARTED

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to the patient’s death. The ALS Association began the Ice Bucket

Challenge on July 29. Anyone can take up the challenge. You have to pour a bucket full of ice water and post a picture or video of the same on social networking sites to spread awareness about ALS. Participants have to nominate a few others for the challenge and can also opt to donate on the association’s website for the cause of those suffering from the disease.

The challenge went viral in the US and several celebrities also took up the challenge. Earlier this month, it reached India and actors such as Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Sania Mirza and many more have taken up the challenge not with pure water but sea water or a single ice cube to prevent wastage of water. Now, the Odia youth, too, seems to find the challenge interesting. Many youngsters are seen posting their selfies on the social media pouring a bucket of water on themselves.

(Clockwise from top) Akshay Kumar, Harrison Ford and Lady Gaga take up the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Rice Bucket Challenge

The detractors of the Ice Bucket Challenge were aggrieved about the wastage of water and hence they came up with an Indian version of the challenge that too aims to lend a helping hand. The Rice Bucket Challenge is the brainchild of Hyderabad-based journalist Manju Latha Kalanidhi. She has inspired many to distribute a bowl of rice to a less-privileged person or medicine worth Rs 100 to the nearest government hospital. It also requires nominating people to do the same.

Ice Bucket vs Rice Bucket in Odisha

Odisha Ranji cricket captain Biplab Samantray finds the Indian version more sensible. “I do not support the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. If you want to spread awareness about ALS, there are better ways than wasting water. Rather, I support the Rice Bucket Challenge. I recently gifted my maid a bucket full of rice,” he said.

Actor Sabyasachi is known for his endeavours of social service. He donated Rs 1 lakh to help those affected by Cyclone Phailin last year. He said he would soon be seen taking up the Rice Bucket Challenge. “This is better since one can do it easily and any time,” he said.

Actor Avisekh Rath thinks the Ice Bucket Challenge is an inspiring campaign that has shown the way for many more social causes.

He said: “Involving a simple adventurous challenge has spread awareness about ALS worldwide. I found it very interesting and took up the challenge. It was fun!” Ananta Prasad, an online content developer, said: “Some people criticised me for taking up the Ice bucket Challenge saying it was a wastage of water. People also advised me to take up the Rice Bucket Challenge. But

I think the Ice Bucket Challenge campaign has made many people like me aware about ALS. I knew nothing about this disease earlier.” Fashion technology student Bharati Sahu also seems to agree with Prasad. “We waste so much food everyday without any guilt when we dine out. But when we take up the Ice Bucket

Challenge for a cause, everyone talks about the wastage of water. Why not save water every day? Many celebs have taken up this challenge and showed us innovative ways of how to go about it without wasting potable water. I did it with rain water that I collected in a bucket overnight,” he said.