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'Robin Hood Army' to help vaccinate underprivileged, serve 5 mn meals

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By NS Desk 03-Aug-2021

Hyderabad, Aug 3 (IANS) The Robin Hood Army (RHA), a volunteer-based zero funds organisation, has joined hands with WhatsApp, Uber, and Google to bring together volunteers who will help vaccinate 1.5 lakh Indians and serve 5 million meals to those most affected by the pandemic across India by August 15.

The initiative named #mission28states is a national effort across 28 states in which RHA volunteers will bring together civic society supported by three leading technology firms to address two key challenges facing the nation today - feeding the hungry and ensuring every Indian is vaccinated before a potential deadly third wave.

Like every RHA initiative that operated on a no-funds approach, all the support brought in by the technology partners will be used to achieve #mission28states throughout India.

"The pandemic has been devastating for lakhs of families and widened inequities across our communities. Whilst the government and administrations are doing their best, it's important that civic society steps up and contribute our talent and resources. In the lead up to our Independence Day, this year through the support of WhatsApp, Uber and Google for the #mission28states, Robins will mobilise 1.5 lakh people to get the Covid- 19 vaccine and at least 5 million meals across every state of India between 31 July-15 August 2021," The Robin Hood Army founder Neel Ghose said.

"At the Robin Hood Army, we are stoked to bring together civic society and leading technology partners together to undertake this massive effort to increase outreach against Covid-19 and create impact across every state in the country," he added.

The mission will be executed in three parts: Thousands of Robin Hood Army volunteers, called 'Robins' will drive awareness campaigns and organise 1.5 lakh citizens to be vaccinated across 28 states. In addition, during this period, Robins will also serve at least 5 million meals to the most needy. The focus of drives shall be on serving citizens who have least access to vaccines - homeless families, the transgender community, rural inhabitants, among others.

Robin Hood Army's chatbot, to solicit volunteers, is powered by WhatsApp; people from across the country can now sign up as volunteers and join the mission seamlessly using just their mobile phones.

As the national mobility partner, Uber is providing the wheels to this mission whereby it will deploy thousands of free Uber rides for the volunteers to mobilise people to vaccination centres and distribute meals while Google will provide millions of meals which will be served to those affected by the pandemic.

The Robin Hood Army has partnered at local and national levels with radio stations, billboard companies, influencers, media houses, and digital groups to mobilise local communities and broadcast the urgency of the national vaccination programme.

"WhatsApp has been an integral medium for civic actors like Robin Hood Army, to reach Covid-19 relief efforts to people, at scale. In line with WhatsApp's vision for India, to contribute meaningfully and build solutions where needed the most, we are inspired to support Robin Hood Army further by powering a WhatsApp chatbot solution that helps to solicit volunteers for #mission28states, that is aimed at bringing relief to the impacted communities during this unprecedented pandemic," WhatsApp India head Abhijit Bose said.

"We're thrilled to be joining forces with our valued partner, the Robin Hood Army, for supporting the #mission28states campaign. It will be an honour for us to join the war against Covid across India. At Uber, we are committed to ensure mobility is not a barrier to timely vaccination of the underserved communities and for fighting crippling hunger amidst those, worst impacted by the pandemic. Working together, we can help our communities to recover faster and reboot the economy," Uber India and South Asia President Prabhjeet Singh said.

--IANS

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