Mumbai’s dabbawalas or the lunchbox carriers have urged the Maharashtra Government to allow travel in local trains, which have been restricted in light of the pandemic outbreak.
Access to local trains would enable dabbawalas to resume their business with full determination and capacity.
Presently people employed for essential services are allowed to travel in suburban trains.
Whereas Dabbawalas are also part of essential services where they deliver food to Mumbaikars.
And since most people are now functioning with reduced capacity, people have been asking us to deliver their meals.
Dabbawalas, who can reach the south Mumbai area on their cycles, can deliver food to offices by keeping all COVID-19 safety norms.
“We have been demanding financial assistance of Rs 5,000 per dabbawala from the state government, similar to what the construction workers had received,” the proposal was discussed in the state cabinet and was still on paper.
There are nearly 4,500 to 5,000 dabbawalas who deliver two lakh tiffins every day from suburban areas to the city’s heart.
Never before in 130 years of history of tiffin services, has there been a six-month-long break.
They ensure office-goers get their meals on time and take the empty lunch boxes back to their homes.
In the last six months, social organizations and volunteers have supported the association financially, for which dabbawalas, who have been out of work, were given money and essentials during the lockdown period.