If you are on Facebook or Twitter, or just plain alive, I am sure you are aware of the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’, or the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
The challenge is simple, a person nominates another to pour a bucket of ice water over their heads while being filmed. If the person does not complete the challenge in 24 hours, he/she has to donate $100 towards helping ALS research.
What is ALS?
According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amyotrophic_lateral_sclerosis):
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) — also referred to as motor neuron disease (MND), Charcot disease, and, in the United States, Lou Gehrig‘s disease—is a neurodegenerative disease with various causes. It is characterized by muscle spasticity, rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle atrophy, and difficulty in speaking (dysarthria), swallowing (dysphagia), and breathing (dyspnea). ALS is the most common of the five motor neuron diseases.
In the U.S., more than 5,600 are diagnosed every year, and up to 30,000 are currently affected. ALS is responsible for 2 deaths per 100,000 every year.
Why Not For Poverty? Because It Isn’t Cool Enough!
The ice bucket campaign has managed to raise approximately 48+ million U.S. dollars from 1.7 million people. This is an amazing feat, but the question is: why not do the same thing to eliminate poverty?
Why not drench yourself in cold water for the millions who die each year due to abject poverty? For people in Africa without clean water to drink, for children that are malnutrition.
In my opinion, nobody cares about such an agenda, because it’s not cool enough!
The same 48 million could have done wonders for the children dying in Somalia, but no one cares. There are people who have to walk miles to get clean water for their children to drink, but these other folks are busy wasting water for some obscure disease!
I am not saying that we should not donate. All I am trying to say is that we need to prioritize; there are many more important issues at hand than ALS. If you had an opportunity to save a 1000 children as compared to 1 child what would you do?
No Will to Eliminate Poverty
Basically, there is just no will to eliminate poverty in this capitalistic world of ours. Billions are made and spent on research in fields that can wait a while. Billions are spent on entertainment and leisure but when it comes to poverty we turn a blind eye.
The ALS campaign was promoted as a FAD, which is why it succeeded. Humanity as a whole has fallen to a level where we only care about fun, style, quick rewards and self-satisfaction.
It is impossible to gift wrap poverty as a fad, which is why no one cares about it and poverty still thrives. We don’t think twice about spending thousands of rupees on a meal while people just outside the restaurant don’t know if they will have enough for breakfast the next day.
To conclude, I would like to say that no bucket challenge or any other challenge will be successful in eliminating poverty in a capitalistic environment. A capitalistic mindset only gives charity if it gets something better in return, and in the case of poverty there is never going to be enough “capitalistic” return.