Millions of people in our country sleep hungry every single day, making it one of the major issues to tackle with, but we still waste food worth crores everyday. With an aim to put an end to food-wastage and ward off the evil of hunger among the poor, Robin Hood Army (RHA), a zero-funds organisation, is taking to the streets to feed the hungry.
As India celebrates 71 years of Independence, a team of students, young professionals, and others from the organisation are on a mission to eradicate this problem from the roots and spread the joy of not wasting food in the country and across the globe.
No monetary, only kind deed
Spread across 70 cities in 12 countries, RHA was founded in 2014 by Neel Ghose, Anand Sinha and Aarushi Batra. Modelled on Portugal’s ‘Re-Food Program’, it is a team of volunteers, called Robins, who collect surplus food from restaurants and distribute it to the poor and homeless.
With over 6 million people served — the army streamlines its processes to set up hyper local community chapters across the world. “The organisation was initially started in Delhi, with just 20 volunteers. But now, we have more than 14,500 Robins. The RHA Hyderabad was started by Aditya Gupta in November 2014. At present, we are a team of over 300 Robins divided into 11 chapters in the city from doctors to engineers, yoga instructors to housewives, name them and they are there. Each chapter gets in touch with restaurants or caterers in an area and at the end of the day, they collect and donate food,” says Uma Chilakamarri, the city head of RHA.
“The Robin Hood Army does not accept monetary contributions but rely only on sourcing food from hotels that are willing to contribute,” she points out.
Initiatives by Robins
Though hunger is an issue, there are other problems too. “There are kids who cannot go to school because they are not encouraged, plus financial crisis. So, we have started with Robin Hood Academy where we have a standardised curriculum,” says 50-year-old Uma, an interior designer by profession.
“People living in the city somehow manage to get food but there are villages in and around the city that cannot. So, we thought of doing something for them. That is how we started this initiative called ‘Freedon from Hunger’ and collaborated with another initiative #RiceBucketChallenge to deal with the scenario.
Serving one million
The organisation started with #MissionMillion2018, where they will be feeding a million hungry stomachs across India. In return, they expect a million happy faces. “So far, we have distributed 10,000 kilos of rice among five districts of Warangal district to 200 families where the breadwinner committed suicide. We will be distributing another 10,000 kilos in a day or so.
Apart from that, we have distributed food and clothes to 30,000 people. The food was managed from our restaurant partners, individuals, and gated communities, among others. There are two organisations ‘Food Bank Hyderabad’ and ‘Sani Welfare Association’. We have raised 710 kg of rice for each of them for this Independence Day,” she adds.
“On August 15, we are distributing 50,000 biscuits to all underprivileged government school students supported by big brand bakeries like Karachi among others.
To become one of the Robins, all you have to do is join their Facebook page of ‘Robin Hood Army Hyderabad’ and they will get back to you immediately.