The people who once fed the whole city of Mumbai are now living in charity, someone is waiting for them to feed them, Mumbai’s lifeline, Dabwalas has taken them to the end because they had to go back to their hill villages in the Sahyadri range. A unique workforce for Mumbai to lose their jobs due to the Carnavirus epidemic.
On March 19, the Dabwala Samiti suspended its activities and failed to return to normal as no local train was running in the city, the city was looted during lunch.
The association is starving because they do not make a living and the Maharashtra government has not given them any help. They were all around the city and it ensured that home cooked meals reached every corner of Mumbai and for more than a century.
“This is the first time in 130 years that we have faced an unprecedented situation. No one is going to the office and no one needs food. Now. We have no orders and no job, so we have no job,” said Raghunath Meadej, president of the Mumbai Dabbawala Association, in an interview with the International Business Times of India. We had no choice but to return to the village without spending a small amount of money. “
It should be noted that in a 2010 study by Harvard Business School, the 500-strong workforce was graded as six sigma, meaning that dabbawalas make less than 3.4 mistakes per million deliveries.
Waiting for normalcy to return
The third generation dabbawala, Medje, added two sigmas to our dabbawala, two were local trains and the other two were our chakras. “We totally rely on local trains for our work and if they don’t work, Mumbai can’t get its dubs.”
They do not have a bank account and there are many people who have not yet been able to pay their bills but say they do not transact online. Customers who have a bank account have been seen reducing their phone calls and not paying their dues. Their lives suddenly came to a standstill with the announcement of the lockdown.
Another spokesperson for the association, Vinod Shetty, said services would never be resumed until normalcy returned.
Mumbai is a city that never sleeps and its consciousness has never been a disaster but the coronavirus has tested the resilience of the city.
Shetty has explicitly added that their work will not resume until the coronavirus epidemic is over. Hurricane Nisarga exacerbated their problem because most of them live in areas that were affected by Nisarga. Their homes, food shops and crops have been damaged.
With so much going on and going nowhere, these dabbalas are still hopeful that Mumbai will dust off and get their lives back, for which they pray every day.