Spending time with the Dabbawalas

Just as the Indian railways are insatiably busy and incredibly complex, so is the ‘dabba’ delivery system, ferrying out an estimated 80 million lunches a year. And no better example of this intricate system shines through than in Mumbai.

The delivery system uses ‘dabbawalas’ – the people who deliver the pail – which literally translates to “one who carries a box”. They’re identified by their white kurta (smock style) uniforms, topped off with the traditional Gandhi cap, and ride bicycles. As our learners try and understand varied aspects of Mumbai, we had a surprise visitor in our homerooms as well. Our school dada dressed up as a typical dabbawala delivered food to their homerooms. The teachers then helped our little learners understand how efficiently the Mumbai dabbawalas work to deliver food throughout Mumbai to people. Our learners were overjoyed and here’s a glimpse from all the fun they had.