Self Dabbawala

Walking to work I noticed someone carrying his tiffin box ahead of me. A tiffin box is usually a cylindrical tin or aluminium container in which people carry their lunch. Whilst I was walking, I remembered the story about “Mumbai dabbawalas”. In Mumbai there is a service that has been running for the past 150 years to deliver home made food to people around the Mumbai city.

The word “dabbawala” in Hindi means “one who carries a box”. The Mumbai dabbawalas pick up the tins from people’s homes and deliver homemade food in time for lunch for the workers. Dabbawalas then have their own lunch and pray before returning each tin back to their original homes. A lunch box changes hands 3-4 times or even 6 times and in all their existence they only make 1 mistake every 6 million transactions! If only this service was available at home, I would surely hire it. Maybe my partner could get lunch delivered to me with a note attached!

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