The first video I saw of the 'Ice Bucket Challenge' was of Anne Hathaway and her contribution to this social media craze.
Since I had no idea what it was about, I saw a few other videos of celebrities and came to the conclusion that it's something along the lines of a 'wet t-shirt contest' because that was the only thing I could make out during these short videos.
While I enjoyed watching heartthrobs like Zac Efron, the Hemsworth brothers and Siddarth Malhotra drenching themselves in water, I noticed that all of the participants of the videos mentioned the word ALS and something about a donation.
They say that the Ice Bucket Challenge is creating awareness about ALS and is raising funds for the ALS association. It was started by a former baseball player, Pete Frates — suffering from ALS — who put a bucket full of ice and freezing cold water over his head. And that was all it took to create a storm over social media.
I'll agree that, in a strange and unconventional way, it is spreading awareness of this disease and, like me, many people around the world must have Googled it to find out more.
I appreciate the fact that celebrities, sports personalities and even politicians around the world are participating and I don't believe that 'all' of them are doing it for their own publicity but the thing I failed to understand was how exactly people are helping those suffering from this horrible disease?
Some celebrities have an interesting take to this trend. Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha, for example, posted a comic video where she dumps a bucket over her head but only one ice cube falls out.
Then she says that I will donate money but I will not waste water and I challenge all of you watching to do the same. I loved her approach.
While the challenge hit Pakistan the same way it hit the rest of the globe, a couple of Pakistani students decided to recreate it into something more productive for our cities.
Calling it the 'Smile Pakistan Challenge', they took a bucket of paint and painted over the ruined and vandalised walls of government schools.
Dumping a bucket full of ice and water to raise awareness about a disease is one thing but doing the same for a larger issue is perhaps just not the right way of doing things. The people of Gaza have come up with a 'Rubble Bucket Challenge' to raise awareness by pouring buckets of rubble over themselves to symbolise the destruction of Gaza.
I'm all for supporting Gaza and condemning violence but in my opinion this is just a tad wrong and insensitive.
Though this was a way for the people of Gaza to be heard and to reach out to the world, I think this Rubble Bucket Challenge is reducing the importance of an issue as big as the killing of so many lives.
I am not against social media campaigns for charity but I most definitely am against making colossal matters seem small by limiting them to a bucket and by making them look like they're 'okay'. It's like saying, "Oh, there was a tsunami that killed thousands of people so I'm going to jump in the ocean to collect funds.".
The Express tribune