The Robin Hood Army is a volunteer based organisation. They work to get surplus food from restaurants to the less fortunate sections of society. The organisation consists of over 3,500 volunteers spread across 27 cities in India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Malaysia. The volunteers known as ‘Robins’ have contributed food to more than 510,000 underprivileged people till date. The volunteers are largely young working professionals who take part in humanitarian activities in their free time.
Salma Ahmed is a Creative Head with a Guwahati based marketing agency. She is a ‘Robin’. It was her desire to start a chapter in Guwahati. When she reached out to people through the Robin Hood Army website, she was guided by Sanchit Jain. Sanchit is part of the National Expansion Team. He helped Salma understand the nuances of starting a city chapter. RHA Guwahati conducted its first drive on 8th May, 2016 and after 3 consecutive Sunday drives, RHA became official. At present, there are more than 15 volunteers. Volunteers from all walks of life are welcome to join.
Within a month of initiation, RHA Guwahati has successfully conducted regular Sunday and mid-week drives as well. The ‘Robins’ collect surplus food from their regular restaurant partners; Three Guys Restaurant at Zoo Road and three outlets of JBs. Apart from these food joints, excess food from weddings, parties, hostels and even from homes are collected.
It all starts with a call from the restaurant partners, if they have excess food. The information is disseminated in the RHA Whatsapp/FB group. The ‘Robins’ then collect the food and distribute it. On Sundays, they meet a predefined place and time with food which has been collected and stored on a Saturday night. The distribution takes around 40 minutes.
The vision is simple – to eliminate hunger and food wastage globally. The idea is to create self sustained chapters who will look after their local community. And in the process, inspire people to give back to the ones who need it the most. RHA relies heavily on social media for creating awareness and expanding the army.
Join the Army
Every city chapter has their own Facebook Group. Anyone interested in becoming a ‘Robin’ in Guwahati can look for Robin Hood Army Guwahati on Facebook. Also, every city is aiming to build college chapters as the student community is more energetic and can contribute immensely to the cause. Monetary contribution is not accepted. All you need to do is take one hour out of your schedule to help the less fortunate.
Words: Rudy Marak