I want to dedicate this post to THE ROBIN HOOD ARMY, which I have been so fortunate to be a part of.
What it’s all about:
The Robin Hood Army (RHA), is a volunteer based organisation that works in order to get surplus food from restaurants or private donors and distributes it to the people who are in extreme need.
It first began in Delhi (India) and now it is all over India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, The Philippines…
I was introduced to the Kolkata chapter in April 2016, and since that moment I fell in love with it! I have barely missed an event when being in the “city of joy”.
I would like to explain in this post one of the biggest events I have been involved with, this being Mission500K for Independence Day.
What we got up to:
So the goal was to feed 500.000 people over India and Pakistan on the weekend of the 15th of August 2016. The Kolkata’s chapter aim was to feed 15.000 people, yes, you read it right, 15.000! This would be a difficult task, as the average number of heads fed in normal drives was from 800 to 1.000!
- So what we did first was going out searching for new donors. What we did beginning from several weeks before the date, was turning up in person at different restaurants explaining who we were and what we did. We carried this out demonstrating with evidence (photos, facebook page, etc.) our work done every week.
- Once the number of donors and the number of meals were established, we had to organise the different locations we would distribute the meals, baring in mind that our focus are children that live under the flyovers and don’t even have proper homes where to live with their families. These children are considered to be in a greater risk of suffering of malnutrition.
We must have been nearly 50 volunteers involved in this event, so we divided ourselves in groups and tried to cover the most vulnerable areas in the city and also various very interesting Foundations in the city. These are the places the group I belonged to went:
- Voice of World NGO: this organisation takes care of children that are blind, deaf and numb that have been abandoned by their families. I think it’s important for me to mention that we shouldn’t find ourselves judging these families, because we don’t know the reasons why the families have decided to act the way they have. It might be because it is badly seen in Indian society to have a child with special needs, or it could be because these families really don’t have the means to look after a child with special needs…
- Lighthouse for the Blind: this NGO looks after blind children that have also been abandoned by their families. It is so amazing because they teach the boys and girls how to be self-sufficient.
- Holy Tabernacle School, this is a school for the children that live in the slum of Topsia.
- Missionaries of Charity, this is the Charity that Saint Mother Teresa begun and where I had been volunteering at. We went and served dinner to one of the hospices where elderly street ladies have been given a home and medical care.
- To finish the celebration a big party was organised in one of the slums in south Kolkata. We gave out just in that area 2.000 meals, and after the meal we danced with the children to the rhythm of awesome Bollywood music, which I abselutely love!!
This has been one of the best experiences ever! In total in Kolkata 22.000 happy faces, and the 500.000 goal for India and Pakistan was achieved! Hats off to all the Robins
Let’s not forget that the war against hunger continues