What is White Matter

White matter is the brain tissue through which messages pass between different areas of grey matter within the nervous system. Using a computer network as an analogy, the grey matter can be thought of as the actual computers themselves, whereas the white matter represents the network cables connecting the computers together.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Think about a "Nice Bucket Challenge"!!! - Indian context for such challenges

Unless you are on a social networking break, chances are your timeline has been flooded with videos of friends for the ALS ice bucket challenge, which has been going viral across social media. People who are challenged by someone either dumps a bucket of ice water over their heads within twenty-four hours or donates hundred dollars to the ALS foundation. Many people have chosen to do both.
There are around 30k people in the US diagnosed with ALS, a rare disease. On the awareness and research front, there is not much support. Thanks to the ice bucket challenge, the ALS foundation received 5.5 million and still counting (comparing to 32k received last year). So ice bucket works for ALS foundation.
ALS is scarce enough in the United States, but in India, it is so rare that we don't even have data about ALS patients. The ALS challenge seems logical in the USA where the major diseases like cancer are well funded. In India, however, it lacks on the front of awareness, research funding and treatments for even the leading diseases.
So what should we learn from it and follow this concept in India?
The learnings:-
The primary and obvious reasons for its success are


  1. Simplicity – Just dump a bucket of ice water on the head and/or donate $100.
  2. Personal involvement & gratification – People felt proud & involved to share the videos of dumping ice water with moments of shocks, failures & fun like a celebrity for a day. Needless to say, it creates an opportunity to show off the looks and what not. Notable mention: Bill Gates, who spiced up the challenge by making a classic design/contraption to dump ice-water from the bucket.
  3. Time-Window (24 hours) – Fast paced challenges with quick turnaround time.
  4. Exponential reach – Due to the time - window and option of nominating more people instantly for challenge resulted in an exponential reach. According to classic mathematics shared in an article, it could cover the whole population (FB & world) in approximately twenty days if it would take a disciplined path. It is the sheer power of multiplicity and chain marketing.
What already had started in India:-
  1. The Rice Bucket Challenge started by a lady Manju Kalanidhi from Hyderabad. It is very profound, apt and productive in Indian context. It proposes to donate a bucket full of rice for the people needing it (not to dump or waste). However, it is not spreading as much as the original challenge.
  2. The Book Bucket Challenge on Facebook across the world(not only in India), proposes to nominate top 10 books which made a difference / impact on a person’s life. Simple, interesting and doable.
What we can start as a constructive challenge in Indian context?
The Nice bucket challenge!!!
Take an action to eradicate or fight top three diseases in India, namely:-
1. Cardiovascular Diseases
2. Respiratory Diseases
3. Tuberculosis
And most importantly, be a nice human being and kind.
  1. Be Nice & Kind - Help any three people and be nice to them (Perform a random act of kindness). These three people, after performing random acts of kindness, would nominate three more people and so on.
  2. Make their day – Nominated people can meet people from various backgrounds like poor OR differently-abled OR mentally-challenged OR senior citizens OR cancer (or likewise depression/AIDS/Cardiovascular disease) patients. Make their day as the happiest one.
  3. Propagate/encourage healthy habits – Nominated people can leave one (or more) bad habit(s) such as smoking, drinking and favorite fast food for twenty-one days to six months (good enough time to leave bad habits even permanently). Remember the top disease in India is cardiovascular disease. Replace bad habits with healthy habits such as a healthy diet, positive attitude, regular running, walking and exercise.
  4. Contribute for a Pollution-free-India – Nominated people would use walking or cycling instead of vehicles for one day in a week for six months or so on. Alternatively, they can choose to clean nearby area or can plant or water a tree.
  5. Volunteering for a chosen cause – List could be probably endless if nominated people would choose their random act of kindness or any act contributing towards fighting top three diseases for self, as well as others.
You may share selfies, pics, story and videos likewise about the same and tag other people.
[Note - Remember personal involvement & gratification:)].
Doing it for a good cause is more important than sharing pics, selfies and videos.
Can we do it as a habit OR a constant challenge OR do we still need to dump something on our head?
References:-
  1. Hyderabad woman's rice bucket challenge becomes a boon for the poor
  2. Knowing top 10 killer death diseases in India
  3. Who cares about ALS? In India, the Ice Bucket challenge is all about fun
Dated - 1st September'2014