August 11th, 2017
A group of youngsters venture out at night distributing food to the ones in need. An army of Robin Hoods spread across different cities in India, youngsters clad in the same attire as the heroic outlaw from the English folk lore. These heroes are battling hunger with the weapon, food.
It all started with a group of six youngsters from Delhi who had embarked the journey of fighting hunger and wanted to bring an end to the wastage of food across the city. They planned to pick up pick up the extra food and funnel it to the ones who were in need of it. Picking up excess food from the restaurants at dinner time and distributing it among the hungry is the modus operandi of the Robin Hood Army.
This group now has grown to a humongous number of 10000 volunteers who are spread across all major cities in the country. With an aim to create a difference in their small way, the Robin Hood Army has by far served over 2 million people across the country. On 71st Independence Day, Robin Hood Army is on #Mission1Million in Delhi, to drive home the message, what real patriotism is. These meals will go to orphanages, old age homes homeless and the ones who are in need of their support.
How it works
Wastage of food and presence of acute hunger are the two gaps that the Robin Hood Army has been trying to bridge. The model which they work on is extremely simple yet innovative. They collect excess food from restaurants and distribute it among the ones in need. The entire model works on donations only in kind. They don’t accept any donation which works on cash.
When The Logical Indian spoke to the North Delhi Chapter Head, Abhishek Chaudhary, he said, “We try to figure out restaurants in every locality and tie up with them. We collect food from them and distribute the food to orphanages, old age homes and even at shelter homes.” In each locality or even in the case of any local chapter, they need to demarcate newer restaurants that can help in eliminating hunger and food wastage globally.
The chapters are extremely self-sustained. They are allotted areas and communities which they have to look after. “We have to go about demarcating communities and localities who are actually in need of our help. Not every slum-dweller needs such kind of help. There are slums where people are actually better off and are not in dire need of external support”, said Abhishek. In this process, the Robin Hood army inspires people around them to give back to people who are in need of their help, at the earnest.
The volunteers of Robin Hood Army reaches out to restaurants and talk to them explaining their mission. Later they collect the excess food and organize food drives where they distribute the food. “I can recall one such shelter home for the destitute, where we used to visit for food drives on every Sunday. It happened such that we couldn’t visit them on two consecutive Sundays. Later when we visited them on the third Sunday, of the same month, we were surprised to see them eagerly waiting for us at the gates. Their eyes were glittering with gratefulness and joy. One of them even said, that they hardly get to eat two square meals a day, let alone such food. This is precisely why they used to wait for us every Sunday. They further requested us to visit them on every Sunday, without fail. The kind of gratitude we encounter makes us feel blessed and gives us the satisfaction of doing something good for the society”, said Abhishek, his voice resonating with happiness.
Another important aspect where the Robin Hood Army stands out is that this organization doesn’t work on any hierarchical structure. There is no concept of bosses and employees within the organization, and anyone is free to organize a food drive as and how they want. It does not follow any set parameter to go about while organizing any food drive.
Challenges they face
One of the major challenges which the Robin Hood Army faces is to find out newer restaurants which would help them in catering food the ones in need. “Organising food drives at night is another problem as often we face issues like storing the food. Our next target is to channelise the leftover food at the weddings” said Abhishek. But in most of the weddings, the turnout needs to be procured at night, and by the time the Robin Hood Army reaches out to the beneficiaries, the food might get stale. They have to find out people who would be able to collect the food and also places where the food can be stored. This is one area where mitigation of challenge and intervention is being worked upon.
But in most of the weddings, the turnout needs to be procured at night, and by the time the Robin Hood Army reaches out to the beneficiaries, the food might get stale. They have to find out people who would be able to collect the food and also places where the food can be stored. This is one area where mitigation of challenge and intervention is being worked upon.
The Robin Hood Academy
A fairly new venture, the Robin Hood Academy works towards bringing about a change in the qualitative aspect of education which the underprivileged kids often fail to get. The Robin Hood Army has set up informal learning centres in the areas they operate, and volunteers visit the areas where penetration needs to be made in this context. The volunteers mostly conduct these classes on weekends and these classes are mostly bridge courses, providing them with the needed support to go on with their studies.
When asked about the message Robin Hood Army has to convey for the readers at The Logical Indian, Abhishek said, “Hunger is one of the biggest problems in our country, and we need to understand that we should not waste food in our daily lives. If we could do our bit not to waste food, and feed the extra part to the ones in need, in due course we can feed every hungry person in the country. That would help us reach the goal to eliminate hunger, in totality.”
The Logical Indian community wholeheartedly applauds the efforts taken up by the Robin Hood Army across various cities in the country. The way they are battling hunger is an inspiration for most of us.
Join #Mission1Million – War Against Hunger on Independence Day
- How can you help the initiative:
1. By volunteering with them to serve the hungry people.
2. By donating food either raw or cooked. ( They don’t accept money)
- How can you contact Robin Hood Army (RHA):
Option 1: They can register on our website. And we’ll get in touch with them: http://robinhoodarmy.com/join/
Option 2: (for #Mission1million): Directly drop a message on their Facebook event page and someone from the team will contact you.
With #MySocialResponsibility, we aim to bring you more inspiring stories of individuals and organisations across the globe. If you also know about any changemakers, share their story at [email protected] and we'll spread the word.
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