Are you ready for the challenge?

ALL FOR A CAUSE Youngsters pouring bucket of ice-cold water for the Ice Bucket Challenge video, a concept that has gone viral in the internet worldwide. Photo: K.R. Deepak  

Golfers Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods did it together. Lady Gaga did it in her signature eccentric style. Novak Djokovic did it in his usual playful self. And Bill Gates did it in slow motion. The world is joining in the latest charity craze - ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - and queuing up to douse themselves in freezing liquid in front of the cameras. What began as a bid to create awareness for ALS, (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), which affects brain nerve cells, has now turned into an internet sensation worldwide.

So what’s behind this latest craze? In the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, participants make video of themselves while dumping a bucket of ice-cold water over their heads, post the video on social media and nominate three others to repeat the act within 24 hours of posting the video online. But if they fail to take up the challenge, the alternative is to donate 100 dollars to the ALS Association, which encourages scientific research for the elimination of ALS.

ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, named after the baseball player who died of the progressive neuro-degenerative disease. According to official figures, the number of people posting videos or commenting on them has already touched 15 million across social networking sites and over 1.2 million videos have been posted so far.

The craze has caught on like wildfire in India. Tennis player Sania Mirza, took up this Ice Bucket challenge not once but twice after receiving feedback that the bucket in the first video did not have enough water.

She uploaded the take-2 video and further nominated Yuvraj Singh, Mahesh Bhupathi and Riteish Deshmukh for the challenge. Tennis player Rohan Bopanna, who also took up the challenge and has posted a video, nominated actor Rahul Bose. But Rahul was quick to tweet: “Been chosen by Rohan Bopanna for #IceBucketChallenge to raise money/awareness for ALS. Have decided not to waste clean water, but will donate!” Till now, these donations have come from both existing donors and 3.07 lakh new donors to the ALS Association.

The internet viral sensation has spread across India and even in tier-1 and 2 cities like Vizag, Vijayawada and Coimbatore. Says DJ Deep Bhamra, who is gearing up to meet the challenge: “I got nominated by a friend from Delhi. I am all set to post my video on Facebook and will be nominating three more persons.” The chain is fast spread among youngsters. Going a step further, the group of friends – Angela Ushakova, Shravan Chakraborty, Rachna Krishna and Navya Govardhana Rao – has recorded their video and challenged the city of Vizag.

“We want this chain to grow into a big circle reaching out to every nook and corner of the world to spread awareness about ALS,” says Navya, a radio jockey. After being nominated by the NGO Team Aloka, Navya was one of the first from Vizag to upload her video on Facebook.

And with each passing day, the idea is spreading fast among people.

Bollywood too has caught up to the internet sensation with Abhishek Bachchan challenging Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and the entire team of the forthcoming film Happy New Year.

In the West, famous personalities like Charlie Sheen, popstar Lady Gaga and Guardians of Galaxy actor Chris Pratt have faced the challenge and donated thousands of dollars to the cause of spreading awareness on ALS. Ironically, the 27-year-old philanthropist Corey Griffin co-founder of the charity challenge died from drowning on Wednesday.

Griffin played a key role in turning the ice bucket challenge into a viral sensation on the internet to raise funds for research into ALS. In the past month, the ice bucket challenge collected over $15 million in donations, according to the ALS society.

There are many failed videos of Ice Bucket Challenge doing the rounds in the internet that have garnered a lot of web hits. “If the bucket of water falls on the head that means you have not done the task successfully. There are several such funny videos of failed attempts,” says Deep.

But is the objective behind the initiative somewhere getting lost amidst all the internet craze?

Putting things into perspective, Executive chef of The Park, Srinath Sambandan says: “The Ice Bucket challenge is a serious fund raising drive. Hope people log on to the > website to pledge their donation towards research, or else dropping ice over your head is just a trivial game.”

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Printable version | Jan 11, 2021 2:03:48 AM |

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