Meet the group calling themselves the Robin Hood Army, who have been taking food from the rich and giving it to the poor in Pakistan and India.
While the Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest robbed money and gold from the rich and gave it to the poor, the Robin Hood Army of India and Pakistan have been collecting leftover food from restaurants and caterers, and giving it to the hungry.
Inspired by the famous ballads of Robin Hood and affected by the widespread hunger in India, Neel Ghose and Anand Sinha created the Robin Hood Army in 2014 to try to combat hunger and feed as many bellies as possible.
Starting out as a group of six people in New Delhi, the army has grown to an active force of 6,715 volunteers, operating in over 30 cities between India and Pakistan.
Knowing that most countries who suffer from a large number of underfed people actually have food surpluses, the initiative started collecting extra food and leftovers from restaurants and catering services, and organized to distribute them to over 1,022,636 people so far.
Even though the organization is a registered NGO, it doesn’t really function as one. At least in the traditional sense. Instead of centralizing their activities, they have offices in several cities, each of which running their own operations, given that they are coherent with the organization’s mission and objectives.
With their matching green shirts, the Army is changing the world one belly at a time, while the global hunger is still a serious international problem.
The World Food Program estimates that some 795 million people in the world are undernourished and do not have enough to eat on a daily basis to lead healthy and active lives. With hunger standing at 12.9% globally, one out of every nine people on earth wake up, go about their day, and go sleep hungry.
Poor nutrition is so widespread and serious, that it accounts for 45% of deaths of children under the age of five (3.1 million children each year). And while Sub-Saharan African countries have the highest ration of hungry people, Asian countries like India and Pakistan have the largest number of undernourished people as a whole.
While the WFP calculates that $3.2 billion is needed to feed 66 million school-age children annually, the Robin Hood Army took action without funding. The group doesn’t accept monetary contribution, but instead asks people for a helping hand.
Maybe if more NGOs and people focused on direct action instead of more funding, problems like hunger can be solved. After all, $3.2 billion is less than some countries spend on sports events, so it’s a matter of setting global priorities straight.