Before the COVID-19 pandemic, dabbawalas in Mumbai were the lifeline of nearly 2,00,000 people in the city. But the pandemic induced lockdown had crippled the 130-year-old meals delivery business, giving a huge blow to the daily livelihood of over 5000 workers. The dabbawalas have been facing acute financial crisis since the start of the pandemic. There had been a plunge of around 90% in the dabba delivery business in Mumbai during the pandemic. Several steps were being taken by individuals, organisations, restaurants and more to offer assistance to these dabbawalas amid the trying times. Recently, HSBC announced an aid of ₹15 crores to provide the dabbawalas with life insurance, food security, family education and livelihood support.
HSBC Teams Up With NGO United Way Mumbai To Extend Help To Dabbawalas
HSBC has teamed up with the NGO United Way Mumbai to assist the dabbawalas in reviving their livelihood. The grant by the bank will also include livelihood support to the delivery service workers by the provision of new bicycles after the lifting of the lockdown. According to a Free Press Journal report, the bank’s interim chief executive in India, Hitendra Dave, said, “The dabbawalas have defined the grit and spirit of the city of Mumbai. An integral part of the city’s workforce and community, they have been hit hard by the pandemic with loss of livelihood.”
Mumbai’s Top Restaurants Partner With Dabbawalas To Deliver Restaurant Food To Homes
Impresario Handmade Restaurants, running popular dining chains like SOCIAL and Smoke House Deli has partnered with Mumbai’s dabbawalas to directly deliver their orders received from Impresario’s online platforms. As part of the pilot project, orders from Smoke House Delhi, SOCIAL and Salt Water Cafe in the Lower Parel, BKC and Bandra (West) areas will be delivered by dabbawalas. This one-of-a-kind initiative will uplift the dabbawallas currently facing a slump in businesses due to the coronavirus induced lockdown.
View this post on Instagram
These initiatives are commendable, and they are bringing back a ray of hope of the life of the dabbawalas all over again. We at Curly Tales got the privilege to converse with the dabbawalas of Mumbai and create awareness on their problems amid the pandemic: