Thousands of office goers of the city will not be able to enjoy home-cooked fresh food during their lunch break between the 3rd o April and to 8th of April as Mumbai's famed Dabbawalas will go on a six-day break to celebrate the annual village festivals with their near and dear ones. The working class in Mumbai is largely dependent on the services of Dabbawalas.
"Dabbawalas will take off to travel to their villages, most of Dabbawalas belong to Pune and nearby districts. During the break they will celebrate the festivities of Dev Khandoba, their deity," said Subhash Talekar, president of Mumbai Dabbawala Association adding that Dabbawalas will return back to Mumbai on Sunday 9th April and start working again from Monday (April 10) to ferry the tiffin-boxes filled with good food for their familiar customers.
Association request to not deduct the salary
A majority of the Dabbawalas belong to Khed, Akola, Sangamner, Junnar, Maval, and Mulshi villages, and the rest are scattered across Maharashtra.
"The "Yatras " of the village deities are scheduled between April 3rd to April 8th in their respective villages, hence the Dabbawalas of Mumbai has decided to go to their villages to participate in it. Therefore, the service of delivery of tiffin boxes will not be available during the period (from 3rd to 8th April)," said the spokesperson of the Dabbawalas association.
Dabbawala's association has apologized for the inconvenience to their customers due to the break and also requested them (customers) to not deduct Dabbawala's salary for the holiday period.
Number of Dabbawalas decreased after Pandemic
During the pandemic lockdown, the Dabbawalas were among the worst-hit service sectors with business trickling down to virtually zero and many took up alternative jobs or even quit their world-renowned profession. "Before the pandemic around 5,000 Dabbawalas were working in the city, but now the situation has completely changed and around 1,200 Dabbawalas are barely on duty and serving around 20,000 customers in the city," further added Subhash Talekar.
6-day-break includes 2 govt holiday
Asked about the holidays, Talekar said, "We already informed our customers well in advance. However, this six-day holiday includes two government holidays namely Mahavir Jayanti and Good Friday. So actually Dabbawalas will take only four days off."
"Most of the schools, and colleges are closed due to the summer vacation. Also, several government and semi-government employees have gone on summer vacation. Therefore, their service has also been reduced to some extent currently" said Talekar.
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