Robin Hood Army
|Motto||"Serve the Hungry Citizen"|
|Established||August 26, 2014|
|Headquarters||New Delhi, India|
The Robin Hood Army is a volunteer based organisation that works to get surplus food from restaurants to the less fortunate sections of society in cities across India and 12 other countries. The organisation consists of over 16, 500+ volunteers spread across 80 cities, and have served food to over 8.5 Million people so far. The volunteers people from all walks of life. The lesser fortunate sections who the organisation reaches out to include homeless families, orphanages, night shelters, homes for abandoned children, patients from public hospitals, etc.
The Robin Hood Army was founded on August 26, 2014 by Neel Ghose and Anand Sinha and registered as a charitable trust in India. The food distributed to the needy is sourced from restaurants, which regularly provide surplus or freshly cooked food on a goodwill basis. The Robin Hood Army believes it is just 1% done in its war against hunger and plans to grow its presence worldwide in the next few years.
The Robin Hood Army originated in New Delhi, India, and then eventually spread its operations to other Indian cities such as Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Jaipur, Jabalpur, Panipat, Gurgaon, Pune Dehradunand, Faridabad. On February 15, 2015, the Robin Hood Army commenced its activities in Karachi, Pakistan.
The organisation functions on and propagates the basic ideology of self-sustained communities across the city i.e. each locality/community within the city will contribute towards providing food to the needy through its local volunteers and restaurants.
Approach and mission
Currently the organisation has tied up with multiple restaurants across the 60 cities that provide them with food. The organisation does not accept monetary donations and only distributes the food or donations in kind that it receives from its restaurant partners and donors.
The Robin Hood Army, wearing green T-shirts, applies the following principles to further its cause:
- Spread awareness of its activities through social media to promote the idea of self-sustained communities.
- Tie-ups and associations with restaurants to provide food in large Numbers to the homeless/less fortunate communities.
- Introduce new volunteers on a regular basis to the system, to create an impact amongst the less fortunate and in the process inspire a community to give time and help to those who need it most.
The Robin Hood actively leverages Facebook and Twitter to generate awareness and inspire new volunteers to join. The organisation routinely launches social media campaigns on special occasions or festivals.
- In October 2014, during the festival Diwali, the Robin Hood Army launched a Facebook campaign which was aimed at inspiring their social media followers to gift anything ranging from food, clothes, toys, sweets, etc. to the needy, and post a picture of the act with the hashtag #BeRobinthisDiwali. These pictures were then reshared on the Robin Hood Army Facebook page.
- Another social media campaign, the Robin Hood Army Winter Campaign, was launched in December 2014 with the hashtag #BeRobinthisChristmas. The campaign aimed at setting up collection boxes in offices across India to collect warm clothes and blankets which were then distributed by volunteers to help the homeless in winter.
- The Robin Hood Army partnered with startups Uber, ScoopWhoop and Zomato to launch a unique initiative on Independence Day, 2015 - #Mission100K. The initiative aimed at uniting students across the Indian sub-continent to rally together and serve food to 100,000 homeless people on Independence Day. #Mission100K was successfully conducted in 23 cities, including 141 colleges and offices and 2400 citizens participating in the initiative. The participants of the initiative visited 42 orphanages and served 78,559 less fortunate people. The #Mission100K campaign was widely covered by various digital, print, radio and television media.
- In August 2016, Marquee startups, Uber, Zomato, Snapdeal, Oyo, Grofers, Inshorts, Roposo,InMobi, and Pressplay and musical artists - Farhan Akhtar, Vishal Dadlani and Uday Benegal partnered with the Robin Hood Army to unite Indians and Pakistanis across the border to serve all of 516,000 lessfortunate people on Independence Day as part of their #mission500K campaign.
- In April 2016, Rural Maharashtra experienced its worst drought in decades, several farmers committed suicide. The Robins sprang to action and worked relentlessly day and night to help their fellow citizens. The Result: 75,000 litres of drinking water personally collected and transported via a special train to Latur.
- In October 2016, the Robin Hood Army launched its #ADiwaliToRememer campaign. It started with a simple idea - to make Diwali special for someone who needed it more than the Roins. There were games, magic shows, football matches, dance lessons, Rangoli competitions, Diya decorating, hygiene drives, Wall of Dreams, Tae Kwon Do lessons – the works! There was Love, Light, Laughter and Life- All what Diwali and the Robin Hood Army is about.
- In August 2017, the Robin Hood Army undertook an unprecedented project along with media companies, the startup ecosystem and celebrities - #Mission1Million. In the largest ever war against hunger (without raising money), #Mission1Million aimed to mobilise Indians and Pakistanis together to serve food and smiles to ONE MILLION countrymen to mark Independence Day. The agenda also included raising awareness on the national hunger problem (>200 million hungry citizens) and mobilise citizens to hit the streets and help irrespective of nationality, faith and religion. The Robins across both countries successfully managed to serve 1.34 Million meals during this mega event. Apart from serving meals to a million people RHA also launched #MissionHeart on Independence Day which was aimed at touching the lives of people they served. There were old age home visits, get togethers with women who survived acid attacks, opening bank accounts for people, making public toilets using waste materials.
- In August 15, 2018, on occasion of 72nd years of Independence of India, the Robin Hood Army launched #MissionMillion2018. In a day they served 1.99 million people across 70 cities in India.
Between February 2015 and February 2017, the Robin Hood Army has set up chapters in 10 more countries including Bangladesh, Nepal & Sri Lanka in the Indian Sub-Continent, Malaysia, Philippines & Indonesia in South-East Asia, Egypt in Africa, Mexico in North America and Melbourne in Australia.
In February 2018, RHA Canada was started in the Greater Toronto Area.
Robin Hood Academy
In July 2016, the RHA Academy was started with the purpose to be a bridge between the street and schools, by giving our children the tools and knowledge to go to school. As of September 2017, The Robin Hood Academy has empowered 1200+ street children with basic primary education. The Robins conduct regular classes and excursions with a standardised curriculum to introduce and drive the spirit of learning.
Along with teaching the students. the Robins also help ensure the kids have the required documents to get admitted into government schools.
Robin Hood Army at Tedx
The founding team of the Robin Hood Army has given multiple TEDx talks on how a community can come together to create a wider and real difference.
- Building the Robin Hood Army, Neel Ghose, TEDxYouth@CAJCS
- The Lack of Food is Not the Cause of the Hunger Problem, Neel Ghose, TEDxGateway
- How one Morsel can Make a Difference, Aarushi Batra, TEDxKids@NMS
- My Journey and Learnings, Anand Sinha, TEDxIIFTDelhi
- Eat. Feed. Love., Suvarna Mandal, TEDxIMTGhaziabad
- "Robin Hood Army - The Idea". robinhoodarmy.com. Robin Hood Army. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
- Vijaykumar, Dimple (June 2, 2015). "The Robin Hood Army: fighting food waste in India and Pakistan". The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
- "Kebabs, burgers and more: How the Robin Hoods of new India are feeding the poor". www.firstpost.com. First Post.
- "This Robin Hood Army feeds the homeless". Business Standard. 15 October 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- "As India battles Pakistan in the World Cup, Robin Hood Army, first set up in Delhi, debuts in Karachi". FIRSTPOST. 15 February 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- Sen, Sree (7 October 2014). "Robin Hood Army takes to the streets". www.dnaindia.com. DNA India. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- "Taking From the Rich, Feeding the Poor: The Robin Hood Army". scribbler.co. Scribbler. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- Sen, Shomini (23 December 2014). "Have food, will share: Robin Hood Army, a group of young samaritans spreads happiness this winter by donating warm meals, blankets to the homeless". ibnlive.in.com. IBN Live. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- "#Mission100k". robinhoodarmy.com. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- Krishn, Abhijit (14 August 2015). "On the occasion of 69th Independence Day 2015 ,100,000+ people will be given food by Robin Hood Army in India and Pakistan". rawanalyst.com. rawanalyst.com. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- Waterhouse, Aaron (23 August 2015). "#Mission100k: Robin Hood Army Aims to Feed 100,000 Hungry". www.socialsongbird.com. socialsongbird.com. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- "Robin Hood Army – Independence Day #Mission100k". www.blabbercat.com. www.blabbercat.com. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- "Robin Hood Army to celebrate Independence Day with the poor and needy". eastcoastdaily.in. eastcoastdaily.in. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- "Independence Day done right: Chasing Mission Million, Robin Hood Army serves meals to thousands of underprivileged in Ludhiana". The Indian Express. 15 August 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- "Independence Day: "Robinhood Army" To Distribute Food To 1 Million People". NDTV.com. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- "Good News: 'Robin Hood Army' serves food to thousands on I-Day". India Today. 16 August 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- "Robin Hood Army spreads its wings to Karachi". www.bignewsnetwork.com. Retrieved 14 September 2018.