Manju Latha Kalanidhi

The Rice Bucket Wonder

Manju Latha Kalanidhi is the inventor of the Rice Bucket challenge - an innovative take on the Ice Bucket challenge. While the original Ice Bucket Challenge involved participants pouring a bucket of ice over their heads and/or donating to the ALS Association, the Rice Bucket Challenge involved donating a bucket of rice to a poor person or family. Thanks to her initiative, more than 2 lakh kg of rice has been donated, so far

While the Ice Bucket Challenge created waves all over social media in the West, our own Manju Latha Kalanidhi thought to put an Indian touch to the cause. Enter - the Rice Bucket Challenge!

Being a journalist by profession, Manju is well aware of the power of words and imagery, especially in the era of social media. She is also acutely aware of the shortage of basic resources like water and food in our country. So while drenching ourselves in ice cold water, even if for a worthy cause, seems like a luxury we can’t afford, replacing ice water with rice to donate to a fellow Indian is a clever spin on the challenge.

She acted fast. It took no time from her Eureka moment to donating her first few kilos of rice. With that, she documented the beginnings of her Rice Bucket Challenge. And social media went berserk! Within a few hours, she had reached out to thousands, who followed her on social media and followed suit in their actions as well. It wasn’t long before other countries who faced a similar scarcity jumped into the fray.

No celebrities, no big-ticket promotions, just a great idea to do good. It was the true-blue journalist in her that brought out positive change through the power of media. And while Manju didn’t do this for the recognition, she received quite a share of it too. Introducing to you the recipient of the prestigious Karamveer Chakra!


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