India’s ‘Rice Bucket Challenge’ Reminds The World How Scarce Clean Water Is There

Manju Latha Kalanidhi works as a reporter for Oryza, a niche publication devoted to rice. When she saw the social media craze known as the ice bucket challenge (which asks participants to raise funds and awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease) taking off in India, where she lives, she immediately thought of the type of statistics she deals with routinely -- a quarter of all undernourished people worldwide live in India, and 103.8 million people there lack access to clean, safe water, according to

"I put one and one together," Kalanidhi told HuffPost in a phone call, explaining her new take on the social media phenomenon. Billed on its Facebook page as an "Indian version for Indian needs," the "rice bucket challenge" enlists participants to share pictures of themselves donating rice to those in need. The callout has struck a nerve: In less than 24 hours, the Facebook page has amassed 15,000 "likes" and reached 80,000 users.

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