I was sitting in my office daydreaming after spending a funfilled weekend with my family, when an interesting conversation got my attention. I heard my colleague Nawaid Beg talking about an army called Robin hood Army! I was fascinated by the name and got curious. I asked him, “what is it all about and what does this Army do?”. I was so impressed to learn about this group!
Robin Hood Army is a volunteer based organization that works to get surplus food from restaurants in the city and helps to distribute it to the needy. It is a beautiful idea that fills a gap in the society – stops wastage of food by the people who have abundant and helps satiate hunger pangs of those who are in need of food. Another thing that impressed me is that it is a decentralized organization and they don’t encourage any pecuniary contributions. They just need your time! They are actively working in 48+ cities with 12350+ robinhoods (volunteers) and serve around 3436531+ people. They are also running academies that empower street kids with primary education. These modern robinhoods are not looting any rich but collecting it from the fortunate and distributing it to the less fortunate.
Nawaid told me he volunteers for this Robin Hood Army. I told him that I would like to join him to see it for myself how they work. Next day two other colleagues Brijesh and Amulya joined , so, four of us met Mr Pradeep and Mr Vishal ( they are already member of the Robinhood army and actively working in Lucknow). We went to collect food from the Neelkanth Resturant, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow. Where the owner of the restaurant was ready with the food in packets. Mr Pradeep told us that many restaurants in the city supply their leftover food to the Robinhood Army. Similarly, in different parts of the city volunteers collect the packets and distribute it in different areas every night.
After collecting food in big packets, we went to Hosadiya Chauraha (crossroad). There is a flyover called Shaheedpath right by the crossroad. We then went under the flyover where many people live. We reached there and distributed the food to the kids.
I started clicking photos… through the viewfinder of my camera I captured many emotions. They were happy but still their eyes were wet. When I reached there I realized that, the people there were used to Robinhood army coming and distributing food, so they made a line to get the food. Kids were so disciplined and they were able to understand the concept of sharing. They were so happy and were relishing the food with each other.
I started talking to the kids. They were excited and were giving poses while I was clicking their photos. They really didn’t care at all about how they look. They were happy that I was clicking the photos. Everytime I clicked, they wanted to see what I had clicked and I was happy that they appreciated every shot I took. They didn’t complain about how they look in the photo, or whether I took the photo the way they wanted. They were just happy.
I enjoyed clicking them and spending time with the kids.
That day I saw another face of the city I live in, ‘Lucknow’. On one hand, I was happy to see the kids eat and I was happy being the part of this experience. But, the stark reality was staring straight into my face. I wondered, is this unfair fate that landed them to this part of world in these hard conditions? OR is it that the rest of us are unfair, propagate inequality and are unjust. Basic needs like food and shelter should be the right of everybody.
I am happy to see organizations like Robinhood Army working selflessly!
I Salute to Robinhood Army! thank you for your efforts. These small efforts will hopefully count towards a big change.
You can read more about the Robin Hood Army here (http://robinhoodarmy.com)