Mumbai’s pride and heritage, the 125-year old Dabbawalas are struggling to make ends meet. With offices closed due to global pandemic, the Dabbawalas were forced to move to their villages in Pune after nationwide lockdown was imposed. The lockdown implemented in March, extended beyond expectations and all their savings got exhausted.
As offices remained shut, they had no source of income from past 3 months. Eventhough, the Maharashtra state government has announced relaxations in the guidelines under ‘Mission Begin Again’, the private offices may operate with 10-30% of the workforce. Due to strict procedures in place, it is unlikely for the offices to allow entry of outsiders anytime soon.
More importantly, Tiffin deliveries depend on the local trains and the timelines of resuming train services is still not announced by the authorities.
Further, the Cyclone Nisagra which struck Western Maharashtra last week severely damaged their homes and fields. “Many of them are living without electricity or mobile connectivity” explains Ulhas Muke, President of Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Charity Trust.
Come rain or shine, the Mumbai Dabbawalas have built a reputation of on-time delivery serving hot meals to over 2 lakh customers daily until Covid-19 impacted routine life. Around 5000 Dabbawalas operate in the island city and have earned a grade of ‘Six Sigma’ for their efficient delivery system.
It is saddening to know that the Dabbawalas who fed lakhs in the city are now grappling to find their own meals.
This is so unfortunate! How can we leave them hungry?
We must take care of them and therefore I have initiated this crowdfunding campaign.
I invite you to support this campaign by making a contribution to this fundraiser.
Alongside, please spread the word in your community.
Together, we can restore the spirit of Mumbai Dabbawalas.
Let’s pitch in and bring back the smile:)
Donation Link: Mumbai Dabbawalas Relief Fund
*As of now, donations are accepted in INR only.
Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai