We have always had a rather tumultuous relationship with our neighbors to the East – India. Now that the two countries are 68 years old, people across the borders are beginning to realize that animosity, drummed up for the sake of political gains, is all a sham. Everyone on both sides of the border is the same and common people are plagued with similar adversities.
In the spirit of unity and peace, a bunch of young people in the two countries have come together under a united mission to feed the homeless and less fortunate as a practical solution to hunger that plagues more than 200 million people in India and Pakistan, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. These people are doing this without concern for race, religion, cast or creed of those who are hungry. All that matters to them is that they are fellow citizens in need, neglected by the powers that be.
This is #Mission100K and here is how these young people are bringing India and Pakistan together.
It all started in August 2014 when a couple of young men from India decided to give back to the society.
Inspired by the Re-Food Program, an initiative to fight hunger and prevent food wastage, the two guys decided to take leftover food from restaurants and hotels around Delhi and serve it to homeless people.
They were able to serve food to 150 homeless, hungry people in the Indian capital city.
And out of this was born the ‘Robin Hood Army’.
It is a volunteer based organization and its aim is to fight hunger. These are also the brains (and limbs) behind the #Mission100K. Also, it doesn’t hurt that this “army” is bringing people of India and Pakistan together for a very worthy cause.
After their successful Delhi drive, the Robins, as they call themselves, reached out to other parts of India during Diwali 2014. Their campaign not only managed to touch 12 cities like Bangalore, Mumbai and Kolkata, it was also noticed outside of India.
Young people form all over started banding together to run food drives in their cities, neighborhoods and communities.
During the winter months, they also distributed warm blankets and clothing, along with food.
And then, hearing all the good stuff happening across the border, Sarah Afridi and Sarfaraz Abid, set up the Robin Hood Army in Pakistan.
The first stop for this fight against hunger being the port city of Karachi.
And soon it spread to other major cities of Pakistan too, with more volunteers stepping up and organizing food distribution drives for their parts of the country.
The “army” has been fighting hunger while celebrating occasions like Christmas and Diwali.
This year, on the independence days for the two countries, they launched the #Mission100K.
The idea was to feed 100,000 people across both sides of the border. While that goal has certainly been met, the drive continues because, in the words of the organizers:
“What was noticed over two days, was that folks from all over wish to give back and make a real difference. Let’s not make this a one-off thing.”
So, the mission continues.
And the young women and men of this “army” continue spreading warmth, food and smiles to their fellow countrymen in need.
And they also have a little bit of fun during this fight against hunger.
Here’s to young people of Pakistan and India being the change that the countries need.
Practical solutions to problems, no matter how small our contribution, is how we can actually make ourselves a model society.