Saturday October 19, 2019

Robin Hood Army: Two friends from India and Pakistan fight to defeat Hunger

The project now comprises 400 volunteers who wear green and go out into the streets of around 11 cities distributing food to 2,500 to 3,000 poor and homeless people every night

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Flags of India and Pakistan Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • One-third of the world’s annual food production for human consumption is 1.3bn tonnes, that goes to waste.
  • The objective of RHA is to redistribute surplus food from restaurants and eateries and create self-sustaining societies
  • RHA started in India with endeavors of Neel Ghose who had launched an initiative to feed 150 homeless people of New Delhi in 2014

KARACHI: Two brothers from either side of the border of nations- India and Pakistan, which are in highly unveiled conflict since 1947, consolidated to raise the morale of the countries and fight the common enemy- hunger.

It started in India with endeavors of Neel Ghose who had launched an initiative to feed 150 homeless people of New Delhi in 2014. A few months later, started a new chapter of Robin Hood Army (RHA) in Pakistan when Ghose shared this idea with Sarah Afridi.

RHA ISLAMBAD Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Robin Hood Army in Islamabad. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

According to a study conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization, one-third of the world’s annual food production for human consumption is 1.3bn tonnes, that goes to waste. If efficiently managed, this could feed one in nine of the 7.3 billion people around the world, who go to bed hungry every night, said the Al Jazeera report.

In India, this project now comprises 400 volunteers who wear green and go out into the streets of around 11 cities distributing food to 2,500 to 3,000 poor and homeless people every night.

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The objective is to redistribute surplus food from restaurants and eateries and create self-sustaining societies by distributing surplus food to the lesser-privileged members of society. Some do it for religious cause and some for humanity but this initiative would probably also work in facets other than malnutrition.

RHA-Lahore Launch Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
RHA-Lahore Launch. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Youth groups in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad come out each Sunday and take responsibility on their shoulders to collect surplus produce from food outlets so that they can feed a few hundreds of households in Pakistan.

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The Express Tribune report said, the Robin Hood Army had its first distribution on February 15 – the day Pakistan and India had their opening World Cup match, reminding people of the need to bridge the differences of the two countries.

But who are the people donating for the cause? Sadly, no one but the members of the team are themselves funding the distributions out of their own pocket. However, their aim is to get restaurants on board to donate their surplus food.

The slogan Robin Hood Army said, “We might be on different teams but we are batting for the same side.”

According to aljazeera.com, the Robin Hood Army is present in 23 cities across five countries – Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia – with more than 3,000 Robins having served nearly 500,000 people.

-prepared by Pashchiema, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @pashchiema

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  • devika todi

    recently, i had the opportunity of attending a lecture given by Neel Ghose. it had been very interesting. he had also talked about the initiative, Robin Hood Army. his passion was clear to the audience. i hope this army spreads to different corners of the world, and help in eradicating hunger, one empty stomach at a time.

Next Story

Dynamics of Tourism Growth in India

Ensuring that the tourism infrastructure supply chain is seamless will require not just creating a consistent and informative process

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Tourism, Growth, India
Fundamentally, for the robust long-term growth of the tourism sector, India must ensure that it is offering an eco-system that is attractive and consistent. Pixabay

The dynamics of industrial growth in India, for all ancillary industries, makes for fascinating reading and analysis. India has embarked on a renewed push towards making the country an attractive tourist destination through a variety of measures such as the “Incredible India 2.0” campaign. Both local and international destinations have wooed domestic Indian tourists. Regardless of whether one considers inbound or outbound tourism, the tourism supply chain provides exciting opportunities for investors and provides pointers towards much-needed infrastructure developments.

At a fundamental level, as India looks to develop further this component of the economy derived from tourism, it is vital to focus on the convergence of marketing & branding (read availability of information regarding possible tourist destinations), accessibility and local infrastructure such as hotels, eateries, transportation and medical facilities. Fundamentally, for the robust long-term growth of the tourism sector, India must ensure that it is offering an eco-system that is attractive and consistent.

Ensuring that the tourism infrastructure supply chain is seamless will require not just creating a consistent and informative process that generates tourist interest, but also a back-to-front infrastructure linkage that delivers the experience. For instance, a trip to the Taj Mahal via the Delhi Airport and the expressway linking Delhi to Agra is vital to ensuring that the branding and marketing of a tourist destination deliver value.

A closer look at the example stated above throws light upon the importance of the airline connectivity, highway and airport infrastructure involved. Additionally, the availability of the local hospitality industry that caters to the spectrum of incoming tourists at the tourist destination is vital. One missing piece in the link renders all other assets relatively incapable of realising full value. On the contrary, a seamless infrastructure linkage system ensures that the various components in the supply chain can operate close to full potential to generate value.

Tourism, Growth, India
At a fundamental level, as India looks to develop further this component of the economy derived from tourism, it is vital to focus on the convergence of marketing & branding (read availability of information regarding possible tourist destinations). Pixabay

For example, exceptional air connectivity to a tourist destination and the availability of hotel infrastructure that caters to a broad spectrum of tourists is rendered relatively ineffective in generating significant tourist traffic without the last-mile road connectivity required between the airport and the final tourist destination. It is vital to underscore that the focus isn’t only on the international tourist, but on both foreign and domestic tourists.

Essentially, as the interlinkages mentioned above will improve, so will the volume of tourist traffic. The capacity for both the government and investors to further develop the cornerstone of the tourism infrastructure linkage stated above has significant multiplier effects for investment opportunities in linked sectors. The luggage industry is a classic example of a sector that will provide investment avenues as the Indian tourism industry develops further. Additionally, not only will the ancillary industries such as luggage grow, but they will also grow in terms of segmentation. With gradually rising incomes, opportunities will be created not just by aggregate market size growth but by tapping into segments such as higher-end luggage demand.

The key takeaway is that as basic tourism infrastructure will grow, linked industries such as luggage, banking and foreign exchange service providers will flourish. Opportunities through market disruptions must be viewed by investors as an avenue to get into growth segments that benefit from tourism growth in India. The opportunity to acquire a foreign exchange business from a larger business group or to get a foothold within the luggage industry must be viewed as an opportunity to tap into the tourism potential.

Indian tourism opportunities must be viewed through a wider lens of tourism that not only caters to traditional hospitality but also builds on the niche opportunities available. Medical tourism is an area that has seen significant growth in the past years and with the infrastructure ecosystem providing support will grow further.

Also Read- Vietnam and Australia to Start Collaborating on Science Initiatives

However, segments such as the meetings (both national and international), incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) and wedding destination need more significant focus in India. Infrastructure creation that will allow India to gain a foothold in the MICE tourism space gradually is vital. Not only will there be direct earnings, but existing hospitality assets will be able to ramp up their returns on the back of adequate MICE infrastructure.

The tourism industry going further offers significant opportunities to India to generate jobs, more GDP and investment opportunities. Further building on the available opportunities through a well-planned and holistic approach is urgently required. (IANS)