The Robin Hood Army was started back in August 2014 with just 200 volunteers in eight cities. We’re sure you’d have heard of them before. It is a volunteer-based organisation that works towards eliminating hunger and food wastage globally by getting excess food from restaurants to the less fortunate sections of the society in cities across India and 11 countries. They aim to ‘Beat global hunger and bring out the best of humanity using food as a medium’. Simple, yet such a powerful motto. And their story is something we feel needs to be told. So, we got in touch with Aarushi Batra, one of the co-founders of the organisation to know more about them.
Tell us a bit about the Robin Hood Army. How did the idea of something as unique as it came into being?
My co-founder, Neel Ghose, conceived this idea. He served as a volunteer for the Re-food programme (distributing excess food from restaurants to the homeless) in Lisbon in the summer of 2014. He wanted to do something similar in India. He, along with his friend Anand started the Robin Hood Army. In the first night of our distribution, we gave food to a hundred people, and it felt conflicting. We realised how deep the problem of hunger is.
So, we can’t help but ask, there are tons of social issues out there, why only hunger?
Hunger kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria and terrorism combined. Also, we know how much food goes to waste around us which can be a meal for someone who does not know if he/she will get their next meal.
What’s the ‘zero funds’ concept RHA works on? If you accept no donations, how do you manage the expenses?
We run on the principle of 0 funds. We only require your time. We’re big believers that no amount of money can replace the happiness we see and feel on the field when we’re out serving our citizens. Day to day expenses are usually covered by the robins themselves from their personal capacity. These are mainly the logistics cost of going from their house to the drive locations.
What have been the biggest highlight of RHA to date?
Our most notable achievement till date has been the 10.5 million+ smiles, blessings and love we’ve received!
What are the future plans for the organisation now? What are you looking forward to in 2019?
Through Robin Hood Army & Robin Hood Academy, we are currently working on eradicating global food wastage & hunger along with imparting education which we feel is essential for nation-building. In 2019, we look forward to increasing the number of smiles we serve and get kids admitted into schools.
Any message for people of Delhi, especially those who have never volunteered but may want to?
People of Delhi have been extremely humane, supportive, and we have one of our first & biggest chapters in Delhi. We see our society plagued with hunger as soon as we walk out of our house. And all it takes is a couple of hours a week to work towards a change. Let’s not always wait for the authorities to bring about change. If you’d like to join our Robin family, log onto robinhoodarmy.com and fill in your details (takes 2 mins) and someone from our team will get in touch with you.
Okay, Delhi peeps, this sounds super noble. We think you should definitely be a part of this.
All Images’ Source: The Robhin Hood Army