Kolkata, Sep 1 IANS | 2 months ago

Are you ordering groceries online? Think about the underprivileged section of the society and click to participate in the online rice bucket challenge in Kolkata.

Modelled on the popular ALS ice bucket challenge, the Indian version that encourages people to donate rice instead of dumping water, is gathering momentum in Kolkata with both online and offline events planned this month.

The Indian spin-off started by Hyderabad-based Manju Latha Kalanidhi involves donating rice to people in need in a country which is the world's second largest consumer of rice.

The Facebook page of the campaign says: "Desi challenge for desi needs, cook or buy one bucket of rice or biryani and feed the needy. Tag #RiceBucketChallenge and challenge your friends. Take a picture or video of your challenge and tag all your friends."

The e-grocery store 'Salt n Soap' will flag-off an online campaign to add to the mass movement in mid-September in Kolkata.

"Shoppers will be encouraged to pledge a kilogram of rice when they place their orders. We have tied up with a few NGOs and the rice collected at the end of two-three weeks will be handed over to them," S. Roy, in-charge of business development at the online portal, told IANS Monday.

"We expect to collect around 500 kg of rice," Roy said.

The challenge will also focus at the 'Joy of Giving' week Oct 2-8. But the citizens' initiative will be observed a week earlier in Kolkata to avoid a clash with the Durga Puja festivities during the first week of October, an organiser told IANS.

According to the venture's Facebook page, over 50 donors lined up Sunday in Girish Park area to donate 1,500 kg of rice to over 500 recipients. This campaign was spearheaded by city-based businessman and activist Suraj Chokhani.

India's rice stockpile is estimated at 21.2 million tonnes as of July 1, 2014. A report by the International Food Policy Research Institute places India at the 63rd spot among 78 countries in the Global Hunger Index.

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), commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease, and encourage donations for research.

The challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and then nominating others to do the same.

(Posted on 01-09-2014)

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