Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ice bucket challenge: ingenious idea or wasteful extravagance

The Ice Bucket Challenge,  involves challenging a person to either dump a bucket of ice water on one's head to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or make a donation to research for the cause. 

Videos of people pouring a bucket of ice on top of themselves and nominating others to take the challenge have gone viral over the net.
Image by google

So why ALS?  ALS is a rare disorder which is categorised as an orphan disease  as not much research has been undertaken in this field. This is because drug companies do not invest much into research of drugs for orphan diseases as these medicines do not translate into profit making project for them. 

Therefore raising money for such a cause is difficult and as such  knowledge about these disorders among general public is poor.

Although, a lot of talk has been going on about the Ice bucket challenge especially as videos of celebrities taking the challenge are being posted on the Internet, little still is being said about ALS and much is being said about buckets full of Ice being poured as a fun task. So is awareness really being achieved by this gimmick?

What is ALS? It is a muscular disorder where in a person gradually loses control over his muscles and finally dies because of respiratory paralysis as the muscles of the respiratory system fail to function. There are currently only 2 medicines available to treat this condition and these are also not very effective.

Another aspect of this challenge is the wasteful use of precious water. Mostly the attemp is to avoid making a donation to ALS by taking the ice bucket challenge and therefore wastage of water. Anybody who is aware that in India a woman in a village may have to walk many miles each day to procure a bucket full of water for her family would agree that it is appalling that water is being misused like this.
Image by google
The statistics show that every second woman in rural India walked an average 173 kilometres – to fetch potable water in 2012, making her trek 25 kilometres longer than what it was in 2008-09.

 Also in 2012, about 54% of rural women had to travel between 200 metres and five kilometres daily to get drinking water. They walked 20 minutes a day, on an average, and spent another 15 minutes at the source. 

So although the intention behind the challenge is good, a little more thought needs to be put in the best possible way of spreading awareness wherein wasteful use of resources does not take place.

19 comments:

RANE said...

I think its wasteful.. I live in a country where there is a drought and people are dumping water on their heads. Most think its a hot new trend and have no idea what its about

Vanessa said...

I totally agree with you. Water is wasted in so many ways and this challenge is a proof. Good that you bring awareness to this issue, and places like India where water is not sufficient. Indian women have to travel miles just to get it!

Rochkirstin Santos said...

I was also thinking about the same thing yesterday while watching the news on celebrities doing the ALs challenge. Many are not even donating.

Fernando Lachica said...

It's just a disease for famous people or additional exposure for them locally and in international scene. In addition, copycats are genuine nowadays.

Raluca L.C. said...

I also think that with all the media madness about ALS - Ice Bucket Challenge, a lot of people are doing it just for fun, forgetting the real meaning of all this - donating money for a good cause. Let's not forget, as you well mentioned, that there is no much waste of water, nobody thinks that in Africa, India or other countries people are literally dying because don't have enought water or they have to travel considerable distancies for it.

rebecca wong said...

I think instead of pouring (and wasting) water, the influential could have used a better way to spread the news of ALS and encourage people to donate.

Eva Arce said...

Been seeing a lot of ALS videos on my feed. SOme understands what its all about but some just thought its a fad. Oh well, this too shall pass. :)

Suzanne said...

I have had my doubts about this type of fundraiser, but have since changed my tune. I think that as long as you are doing something to bring about awareness it is good. The amount of water that is being used is little but the awareness is great!

Kylie wenn said...

Successfully create awareness but the idea don't sounds good..

Franc said...

That's true. There are areas where there is really little water supply. Also, they should also find a different cause to support.

Hina Naz said...

I am not much impressed with water bucket campaign. It just wastage of water. Donation must be done in order to help suffering people.

Tiffany Yong W.T. said...

There has been many talks about water wastage. Well, I saw the comment how water wasted in some countries are not going to reach or help those countries without water.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has indeed raised alot of awareness in a very short time. There might be many alternatives to assist, but how many have been successful in raising awareness so far?

Just my two cents worth~

Ecuador InMyEyes said...

Many people in the industrial countries do not understand water wasting or how much need there is for clear water in the world.
On the other hand, the challenge has brought knowledge and awereness about ASL. Right now you gave us information about it.
Not the best way to do it but it has helped to raise a lot of money.

Riza Acebuche said...

I'm happy that nobody nominates me to do this. But I admire those who accepts the challenge and donate as well.

Junedujour .com said...

Glad you wrote about this. As much as i respect the cause I found it sad tht people are doing it for their 15 mins of viral fame.

xoxo www.junedujour.com

Graceful Mist said...

It`s good that they`re raising awareness but there are more creative ways to do it. Wasting water isn`t a good idea.

Manu Kalia said...

I agree with you, at least with those effort in Ice bucket challenge brings awareness on what is the purpose of the challange ;)

Manu Kalia said...

I agree with you, at least with those effort in Ice bucket challenge brings awareness on what is the purpose of the challange ;)

Khushboo Motihar said...

I hated the ice bucket challenge. However, the rice bucket challenge, our desi alternative sounds amazing to me. I will choose rice bucket over ice bucket any day!