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With piping hot food,Noida Robinhoods try to bridge resident-migrant gap

The Noida chapter of Robinhood Army, a pan national NGO dedicated to feeding the poor on daily, weekly and monthly basis in over 49 cities of India, have taken up the task to look after the needy in the slums of Sector 77.

noida Updated: Aug 15, 2017 23:32 IST
Vaibhav Jha
Vaibhav Jha
Hindustan Times
Robinhood Army,Noida chapter of Robinhood Army,Mahagun Moderne Society
Noida chapter of Robinhood Army feed the poor at Sector 77 on the occasion of Independence Day.(Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

After the mob violence at Mahagun Moderne Society in Sector 77, the gap between migrant workers and Noida citizens had widened. However, there is a group of ‘Robins’ in Noida, which is working to reduce the divide by providing migrant workers free food every week.

The Noida chapter of Robinhood Army, a pan national NGO dedicated to feeding the poor on daily, weekly and monthly basis in over 49 cities of India, have taken up the task to look after the needy in the slums of Sector 77.

The volunteers of Robinhood Army called themselves ‘Robins’ and claim that there is no hierarchy in their organisation. They have been visiting the shanties in Sector 77 for more than one year, feeding the families there.

On July 18, the Noida authority had demolished around 50 shanties in the wake of the mob violence at Mahagun Moderne society. The violence had erupted due to alleged rumours that a house help has been kidnapped. The displaced people soon found a new home as they erected shanties 500 metres from the demolition spot. However, the mob violence had resulted in deep mistrust between Bengali migrants and residents of high-rise societies at Sector 77.

“I am not a Bengali or a Bangladeshi. I am from Uttar Pradesh,” claims Veerpal, an occupant of one of the shanties. Veerpal irons clothes for a living and he has been noticing the Robinhood Army’s presence in the sector.

“They have been coming here quite often, at least once in a week. They bring freshly cooked food in their vans and sweets for our children. I like them,” Veerpal said.

Similarly, Rahim, a vegetable seller from Cooch Behar of West Bengal, claims that his son likes eating from the van of Robinhood Army.

“My son has understood that the van comes once a week, mostly on Sundays. He eagerly waits for them,” Rahim said.

The RHA volunteers or Robins claim that feeding the poor gives them the satisfaction that they don’t find in their regular jobs. They get food from restaurants and hotels through networking channels via their volunteers.

“In our group, there are students, CAs, business persons and working professionals. Yet, everyone finds time to assemble once a week and devote themselves towards serving society. We also intend to help them in ways other than providing food,” said Zuali Morrison, a businessman who moonlights as a Robin.

The RHA intends to feed at least one million people in 2017 and its founder Neel Ghosh claims that they intend to beat hunger.

“Mission One Million is not just about the number but the fact that any kind of societal change is possible only if we bring together citizens as a team. Our mission is to beat hunger,” Ghosh said.

First Published: Aug 15, 2017 23:31 IST