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The Ice Bucket Challenge Frenzy!

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is the most trending topic in recent weeks but have you ever paused to think of the stupidity of the whole concept?

There’s no doubt that the challenge has taken the world and especially the Internet by storm over the past few weeks. The trend has been ballooned by the participation of business stalwarts, actors, sport stars and average. Although it was born with an objective of raising awareness and generating donations, I am sceptical about how it is taking shape. It seems that the videos themselves have completely overshadowed the disease that they are supposed to raise awareness and funds for.

I see the social media flooded with hashtags- #ALSIceBucketChallenge and viral videos uploaded by the ones who revel in taking up the challenge but a major chunk of those do not donate for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is rare enough in the United States, but in India, it is so off the radar that we don’t even have an estimation of the number of cases.

The slightly tweaked version like the Rice Bucket Challenge has also surfaced by the people who understand that they must not support cause by being oblivious to another major cause of water scarcity. The variation of rice is still better as it can be donated to feed the starving stomachs. Water scarcity has been the looming generic issue for the people world since decades. About 780 million individuals face water problems in their daily lives.

Yes, it does promote the fight against ALS and yes, it did raise money. But how is wasting so much water helping a cause? Isn’t it ironic that you’re wasting something so precious in the name of charity? Some may argue that the pail of water in a bucket is skimpy and won’t matter much. But this will matter when we add all up. For every bucket of ice water dumped on someone’s head in the name of ALS awareness, about 4 gallons of water go down the drain. Multiply that by the 1.2 million videos currently circulating the Internet, and it adds up to almost 5 million gallons of wasted water. And that’s not even including the ice cubes.

We might not be able to understand the enormity of water scarcity problem because the ones engaged in such cool-to-do acts do not face crisis in their everyday lives. On one hand, you have conscientious citizens making sure to turn off the water faucet while brushing their teeth. But on the other hand, the same people don’t hesitate to pour out a full bucket of water.

Author: Rajat Agarwal

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