Recently we have been hit by a social wave of beautiful positive humans all across the world accepting the ALS #IceBucketChallenge for a good cause. What is this good cause? Well, it’s for patients suffering from a deadly disease that takes pieces of you one by one slowly shutting you down for better or for worst. This disease known as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movements is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. This disease is also known as Lou Gehrig named after a most beloved baseball player Lou Gehrig who was numbed and shut down because of the ALS disease and after which this disease gained national and international attention in 1940’s. But yet only half of America knew about ALS but after the challenge took over full fledge people all over the world are aware of it. The Association had received $41.8 million in donations from July 29 until August 21. More than 739,000 new donors have given money to the association, which is more than double the $19.4 million in total contributions the association received during the year that ended January 31, 2013.

The purpose behind the ice bucket challenge was to raise awareness about ALS and make every individual feel the numbness from head to toe as an ALS patient goes through every single day after their body has started to shut down. The challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and challenging others to do the same. A common stipulation is that nominated people have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation.
This post is written for the people who are suddenly so concerned about a bucket of water being wasted and are trying to be better humans by not doing the challenge or donation. They all have their silly reasons and I still respect it! But for those who feel like they are wasting water but still want to go ahead and do the challenge because it’s for a good cause then do read the 5 steps that will practically let you do both!

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  1. POUR THE BUCKET OF ICE+WATER IN A GARDEN/ LAWN
    If you have a lawn, park or garden outside your house or any grassy area close by you could take the challenge there. This way you will be watering the grass and not wasting it on the concrete roads or elsewhere.  No one is going to stop you. If they do just pour the ice-bucket on your head and run from there!
  2. DON’T SHOWER FOR A DAY
    So if you don’t want to take this outdoors do the challenge indoors on your roof/terrace or in your washrooms and then just skip having a shower on this day. Trust me, you won’t stink at all if you go without a shower for a day. Plus when will all those deodorants and perfumes come in handy? 😉
  3. RECYCLE THE WATER SPILLED ON YOU
    If you own a nice round bucket and another bucket for the ice you can do this step! Step into the empty rounded bucket and then let the ice be poured on you. This way all the ice and water will drain down from you and get accumulated in the rounded bucket. Once you are dried up take that melted water in a mug and let your plants drink all of it or you can wash your car or cycle with that water.
  4. COLLECT RAIN WATER AND FREEZE IT
    In India, we have monsoons at this time of the year. (Although there is insufficient rain with the passing years) So if you have got nominated and you are looking for a productive way to do the challenge this step is for you. Go to your terrace or get under your place on the streets with an empty bucket or vessel and collect the water you need. Go and freeze that into ice trays (or utensils if you want to use chilled water due to lack of ice-trays). Technically the rain water was just “being wasted” on the streets. A little bucket of water stolen from the rains wouldn’t make a huge difference. If it does then go back to that place from where you got the water and pour it on you right there. In that case the water was never really taken!
  5. USE SEA WATER
    If you have been nominated on a sunny or dry day go to the sea and get some water, boil it up and then cool it down till it freezes! Then go pour it on your heads from the very sea you stole the water from! 😛

This is not to be taken too seriously and get it critically analysed. It’s just a content written for all those people who are against the ice-bucket challenge because they think it’s a waste of water or a publicity stunt. Talking about publicity, this thing had been publicized for it to gain everyone’s attention about the disease and to raise their funds. If it was not for social media and the positive people who took up the #IceBucketChallenge I would have never known about Lou Gehrig’s disease. Sometimes, instead of being so negative, try being the opposite. We all know many places in the world are starving due to lack of water and we are not denying that fact. But don’t criticize something done for a good cause!
If you all have such issues with water being wasted then please do raise your voice during the Festival of Holi in India, with the same spirit. Also, in twenty years of being an Indian citizen by birth, I have never played Holi because I do not like the concept of wasting water for “FUN!” Dry Holi is a good initiative and I think that should be implemented throughout places Holi is celebrated. Further more, do not get all fascinated with water fountains, do not use swimming pools, don’t use the shower to have a bath, don’t ever go to a water-park, melt all the snow and store it in bottles, run across streets and climb buildings if you see water over-flowing from tanks, don’t use water to fake rain during movie and serial shoots and so on…you will hence save much more water than what was “wasted” for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The point I am making here is that “where there is a will, there is a way.” There is always a negative side to everything in the world but you need to optimistic!
Due to this initiative gaining so much of awareness and popularity people of Palestine have started their own #RubbleBucketChallenge and people in India have started their own #RiceBucketChallenge and both are impressive ways to mourn the deaths of innocents killed in war and to help the needy respectively. I only hope there won’t be negativity of any sort regarding this. Although many people are questioning if “celebrities” would take up the #RubbleBucketChallenge like they took up the #IceBucketChallenge. But hey, do it yourself and then be positive and thankful to the others who have supported it and keep all those negative thoughts away! Personally, if I get nominated to do the Ice Bucket Challenge I will go ahead and do it gladly but before that do the Rubble Bucket Challenge followed by the Ice Bucket so that I don’t need to “waste water” cleaning up the rubble on me.

P.S. All those people who have told me to donate a bucket of rice or water or other things in buckets instead of “wasting water” ; no offence but I do my charity and I don’t need to tell the whole world that I do so and when and where. Plus being a Muslim we also give Zakat every year which is also charity. I make my own little prayers for all the people in need but I don’t need to gloat about it. I do my bit you don’t need to give me suggestions!
I respect your opinions, I expect you to respect mine!

If I had the money I would straightaway donate to the ALS foundation but unfortunately “Jeb hai khali but I atleast have Balti and Thanda Pani!” [Translation: Pocket is empty but I at least have a bucket and cold water!]

-Zainab Attari