ROBIN HOOD ARMY: Bridging the gap between hunger and hungry citizen

“Hunger Fights castles and hunger surrenders castles.” -Anonymous

The world has found the medication for almost all kinds of illnesses but still, the world is suffering from an uncured one – ‘hunger’. The world has plenty of resources for the people but still, people are suffering from hunger and there hasn’t been any stable solution for this till the present day. There are millions of people who are either dying or on the verge of death because of hunger and the COVID-19 pandemic has made this problem more worsen. Although everyone has been hit by the pandemic economically still the problem is not lack of resources, it is the utilisation of resources we have got from nature. The millions of people are starving just because they don’t have enough on their plate while there are thousands of people who have more on their plate to throw it in the dustbin. One has rightly quoted: I was dying of HUNGER, as they were fighting over TASTE.

India, which has been rich in all kinds of eatable resources for so many years, is also not untouched by hunger. According to the 2019 Global Hunger Index (GHI), India ranked 102th out of 117 qualifying countries with a score of 30.3 that shows it is in a serious stage. The GHI score is calculated using factors such as nutrition in food, adequate food supply, and child mortality rate. According to a report, 194.4 million people in India are undernourished which is almost 15% of the total population of India. It’s been observed that 51% of women of age group 15-49 are anaemic, 37.9% of the children aged under five are stunted, and 20.8% suffer from wasting means their weight is too low for their height. There are numerous NGOs who are trying to fight against this illness and one of those organisations is- Robin Hood Army.

Robin Hood Army, the name looks cool and itself describes the purpose of this organisation. 6 years back from today, a person named Neel Ghose has founded this organisation with his few friends namely Anand Sinha, Aarushi Batra, and later on Sanchit Jain. The idea of this organization was not like other organizations where some people create an NGO, take donations in form of money, registration fees, look for funds, etc. in the name of help and when they don’t get enough funds, either they lose their purpose or they stop working.

According to a study, 40% of the food produced is wasted in India. The main idea behind Robin Hood Army was not to generate fresh food to feed hungry citizens but to collect the surplus food from hotels, restaurants, banquet halls, party halls, college/school mess, corporates, etc. That was one of the best ways to put a halt on food wastage as well as to feed the hungry. The organization set up major principles; No monetary donations (zero-fund), apolitical, and all religion which means there would be no monetary fund, no political connections or influences, and will serve all the people despite their caste, community, and religion. These ideas of Robin Hood Army impressed many people across the country as well as outside the country and that made this organization grow year by year since the foundation. Presently, the organization is working in more than 180 cities of 10 countries around the globe with more than 58 thousand volunteers. The volunteers are from all the age groups of different professions such as students, working professionals, retired personals, etc. They spend their free time volunteering with this organization and inspire others to help the needy and unfortunate people. All the associated cities with this organization work freely according to the needs of their city with no restrictions except they must adhere to all the principles of Robin Hood Army. Where most people waste their time on social media, this organization uses it most effectively. All social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp are their mode of communication and promotional activities.

Robin Hood Army is one of a special kind of organization that follows its culture Citizen First  Mission Next  Robins Last thoroughly. The volunteers called robins, serve the needy citizens with zeal and also inspire others to be a part of this organization. The robins follow ‘1% done’ for their motivation to serve the society that always keeps them enthusiastic to focus on 99% yet to be done. The list of their selfless deeds is long enough that this article won’t be able to cover them all but it would be an injustice to not mention some of them. Some of the major activities are:

 When Gujarat, Bihar, Kolkata, Assam and other states of India were hit by flood last year, the local robins from those states helped the people selflessly and provided the essentials to them.
 In this pandemic situation, when the entire country was in lockdown, their #SeniorPatrol project sighed relief to hundreds of senior citizens living away from their families.
 Recently, when the cyclone Amphan hit the Kolkata and nearby states, the robins served on land and water to more than 1000 affected families.
 The Robin Hood Army has a large family of 58+ thousand robins, but there have been no causalities reported since the day it has been founded.
 They are running their initiative ‘Robin Hood Academy’ to teach the kids, women, and other unfortunate people from slum areas. Thousand of kids have been admitted to the school and doing well in their studies, it seems Robin Hood Army has provided wings to their dreams.
 Special mission drives in Independence Day week. Every year Independence Day is celebrated as foundation day for Robin Hood Army and they do mega drives for the entire week of that. Last year they targeted 5 million in their #Mission5 and served 6.3 million meals, this year the mission is bigger due to pandemic and of 45 days with a huge target of 30 million in their #Mission30M which has started from 1 st July.

Figure 1: Robins on the field

If the idea of Robin Hood Army sounds interesting to you and you can take out some time from your hectic daily life, give a try to be a part of this wonderful family and feel the immense inner-peace in you by giving back to the society. Visit robinhoodarmy.com to know more about their services to society.

“If we can conquer space, we can conquer childhood hunger.”

Be A Robin