We stuff ourselves with grub at our favorite food joint while millions of our countrymen go to bed without having a single course of meal. The pain of sleeping with an empty stomach can only be felt by those who have experienced it. It is heart-rending to know that the biggest wastage of food is actually done by those who make the highest profit from it. The restaurant owners, food retailers or caterers mostly dispose the surplus food without making an efficient use of it.
Taking cognizance of the situation, two youngsters from Delhi, Neel Ghose and Anand Sinha, along with their companions, started a mission to serve food to the homeless and the deprived. Neel and his friends wear green t-shirts and venture out at night to feed the poor people. They are better known by the name ‘The Robin Hood Army’. The volunteers of the Robin Hood Army collect leftover food from the restaurants and different food joints.
The pioneers behind the Robin Hood Army, Neel and Anand step down to the streets every Sunday night along with their team to distribute food to the destitute, poverty-stricken and to the impecunious. The comic book hero; Robin Hood had one motto – to loot the affluent and give them to the needy. Drawing inspiration from their much-admired hero, the Robin Hood Army decided to feed the hungry Indians with the help of the rich. The main source of motivation for Neel and Anand was ‘Refood’, a Portugal-based organization that aims to help the underprivileged by daily access to food. Sensing the need of an organization of similar model made Neel and Anand formed the Robin Hood Army, which is now a registered NGO.
The two most prominent objectives of the Robin Hood Army are to reduce the immense wastage of food and ensure food security for all. They want to bridge the gap between the hunger and surplus wastage of food. Neel Ghose, Anand Sinha and their bunch of friends were only six in number when they thought about his initiative. At present, the Robin Hood Army comprises more than 1200 volunteers that spans across more than 18 cities of India. RHA also increased its volunteer support by going international with the inclusion of the Karachi chapter. The Robin Hood Army not only functions in India but also in Pakistan, with the same motive and intentions. The organization works preferably on Sundays but is planning to work on weekdays too. Several working professionals work as volunteers with the Robin Hood Army. Various corporate giants as a part of community service are helping Neel and his team. Neel and his Robin Hood Army are active on Facebook too. They are well aware of the significant role social media can play and have therefore incorporated several online campaigns.
The Robin Hood Army works on a four-point agenda, which is to reduce food shortage, reduction of wastage of food, enhancing community sustainability and replicating and encouraging the model across different cities of our country. Their slogan of serving the hungry citizens of India has been appreciated and has gathered huge round of applause from several sectors. Robin Hood Army has partnered with several restaurants and food retailers that would provide them with food on a daily basis. Neel Ghose, an inspiration for many youngsters, is also the Vice President, International Operations at Zomato. A passionate youngster, Neel has paved a way for several others to follow.