Siddharth Mohan Nair| The News Minute| September 4, 2014| 7.00 pm IST
Over the last two months the Ice Bucket Challenge which was initiated in the USA to promote awareness about the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease has gained wide spread social media attention. Many people in public life took up the challenge, and following them numerous followers of theirs too took it up.
Then Manju Latha Kalanidhi, a senior editor at Oryza, Hyderabad, came up with a 'Desi Challenge for Desi Needs'- Indiaâ€™s version of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the Rice Bucket Challenge
A third challenge is in the offing now. Two environment lovers from Kerala have started a 'My Tree Challenge' (MTC). The MTC is an e-EcoRevolution started by Abdul Manaf, and Imthias Khadeer, a travel photographer which challenges people to plant saplings and post the photograph on social media websites.
â€śHey all, while all these ice bucket revolution is going around, we are launching an eco revolution adding value to mother earth. Do plant a sapling and challenge others to do so, use the bucket of water for giving life to what you have planted. We can surely make this an eco revolution. Support and spread the word,â€ť reads the status of the MTC page on Facebook.
The challenge got its initial push when the Malayali heartthrob actor Fahad Faazil planted a tree. The MTC followed the same method of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge when it asked those people who accepted the challenge to further nominate their friends to take up the challenge. Fahad Faazil nominated the most popular Malayalam film stars Mammootty and Mohanlal to take up the MTC.
Mammootty was very prompt to accept the challenge and he posted a video of his planting a tree sapling in the place where he was shooting for an upcoming film. He also posted the video on his Facebook page which was liked by thousands of his fans.
What he did next was the best. To help the movement gain wider regional spread, he nominated Tamil actors Surya and Vijay, and the Hindi actor Shah Rukh Khan to take up the challenge. Mammootty is now the Chief Mentor and Goodwill Ambassador of the MTC.
None of the three have until now taken up the challenge. But, by the hits that the My Tree Challenge page has received on Facebook in such a short span (66,000 in six days) the organizers hope that the movement will spread.