Is rice the new ice? India debuts #RiceBucketChallenge

Unlike the ice bucket challenge, the rice bucket challenge asks participants to donate food

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As the ALS ice bucket challenge spreads like wildfire on social media, one Indian journalist has come up with her own version to encourage giving charity to the country’s needy.

Unlike the ice bucket challenge, which has seen a glittering array of celebrities pouring ice water over their heads to raise awareness of the Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease, the rice bucket challenge asks participants to donate a bucket of rice to a person in need.

It is described on its Facebook page as an “Indian version for Indian needs.” The inaugural donation was made on Sunday.

See also: Ice bucket challenge: Wet T-shirt contest or charity game changer?

It is the brain child of Manju Latha Kalanidihi, a journalist from Hyderabad in central India, and is gaining popularity with more than 12,000 Facebook likes so far.

India had moved from 65 to 63 in the Global Hunger Index in 2013, however it continues to languish far behind other emerging economies according to the index.

The index is prepared by the International Food Policy Research Institute along with Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide.

The level of hunger in India remained at “alarming levels,” the report said, adding that it is one of the three countries outside Sub-saharan Africa to fall in this category. The other two are Haiti and Timor-Leste.