Manju Latha Kalanidhi
Manju Latha Kalanidhi

Hope you have heard about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge… While all of us have heard enough about this challenge – which many of us actually thought was silly – people across the world have taken part in it or donated to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association. As expected, many Indian celebrities who have an amazing copycat behaviour, immediately took up the challenge to pour ice cold water onto themselves. Particularly, since the Indian monsoon had not covered the entire country this time, it was easy to douse cold water in the intense heat!

During my stint in a research firm in Hyderabad, I worked with a colleague named Manjulatha Kalanidhi who was also a journalist. She always had a quirky retort for everything in life. Her quick wit and one-liners always raised eyebrows. If we guys were talking about “Koffee with Karan”, Manju would say, “come, I will serve some Kashaya. Let’s have Kashaya with Kalanidhi!”

It was obvious that Manju would come up with a befitting Indian answer to this ice bucket challenge. Being quite active on social media, she messaged,

“Chalo I am all ready for a #RiceBucketChallenge… desi style… cook or buy one bucket of rice/ biryani and feed the poor in your locality. If you can’t take this challenge, donate medicines worth Rs 100 to the nearest government hospital.. Whoz joining me in this one? My own local, practical and tangible version/response to #icebucketchallenge …. save water feed the hungry!”.

Rice bucket challenge
Image Via

The social media cyberspace went abuzz about this crazy yet sensible idea. Why pour cold water onto yourself to promote some unknown disease; better do charity at home! Over the last one week, the Rice Bucket Challenge has spread like a wildfire and has become the most discussed topic on the internet. School children, social activists, celebrities all have joined the bandwagon to take up the Rice Bucket Challenge.

While we constantly crib about our governments doing nothing, our corporate houses doing meagre CSR service, rarely we find individuals taking up social causes. I would say Manju’s act is the ultimate example of Individual Social Responsibility.

So this International Day of Charity, are you ready to take up the Rice Bucket Challenge? All you have to do, take a bucket of rice, find a needy person, click your pic while donating it, and upload it on the Facebook community link!

Factfile –

Levine Lawrence
Stuck inside an air-conditioned cubicle... i yearn to ride into the countryside... under the open blue skies, where farmers toil in the field, smell mitti ki khushboo, fill more greenery into the picture... travel across the world, meet more people, bring smile on faces... and finally, work for world peace. Just like those Miss World statements! I am a veteran media professional with 12 years of diverse experience in business media and research in India. Apart from my full time job as a researcher, I have been an avid travel photo-journalist, who has covered the art & cultural aspects of South India. Further, I am actively involved in the voluntary organisations working on energy efficiency, organic farming and environmental issues.
  • Hemant

    I agree with you Levine that Indians are copycat & am sure these celebrities will not come forward for Rice bucket challenge but a common man can. Appreciate Manju for coming up with such great idea.

  • Levine

    Thanks Hemanta, big thanks to Manju for such great Idea 🙂