We worked hard every single day to survive, we never had to beg for alms until today. But the situation we are facing today, our Dabbawalas are in a lot of trouble.
A lunchbox delivery and return system that delivers hot lunches from homes and restaurants to people at work.
Their Work Has Come To A Halt Over The Last 1 Year With The Lockdown And Work From Home System
I have been working as a dabbawala for 50 years now, so has my brother, my father, my grandfather. So like this, all members and their families have dedicatedly worked for 130 years in this organization. The difficulty today we Dabbawalas are facing is something that's never happened before.
Before Covid happened, there were around 4500-5000 Dabbawalas working in Mumbai to deliver tiffins to 2 lakh customers daily. It’s been a year since our job has come to a halt because our customers are all working from home. So no one is there to avail of our services. Because of which today we are starving.
The workers live in rooms on rent. They don’t own homes. Owners charge Rs.5000 rent per month. We begged the owners to waive the rent for now, as these men are not able to earn their bread and butter or even afford their meals or pay the fees for their children’s education. We tried convincing them, but many did not waive it off. These are just some of the struggles we are facing.
Even during the lockdown, a lot of our people took up the responsibility to provide tiffins to patients, government workers, hospital staff, etc. because only if he works can he sustain his home. They are forced to work, despite the health risks.
Post the initial lockdown, around 300 Dabbawalas could get back to work. But with the lockdown happening again, it is difficult for them to get back on their feet. They are looking forward to a time, where the tiffin business goes back to its former days. Now, with the second wave of the virus, we don’t know what our future looks like.
People who used to earn 15,000 - 20,000 now earn 3000-4000, and out of that, Rs.5000 is the home rent. The situation is such that today a Rs.100 note is equivalent to Rs.10,000.
Even today they cry and beg to god, that they hope their livelihood revives as soon as possible so that they can provide for their families' daily needs.
We request the people, please help us by donating money. Please help us! We are facing a lot of problems.