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Comic book on dabbawallas

Friday, June 14, 2019

Singer and chef Anaida Parvaneh is holding a function this evening at the Phoenix Mills to launch the comic book ‘Dabbawala’.  The comic tells the story, in a superhero format, of the famous dabbawallas of Mumbai, who have been delivering home-cooked food to Mumbaikars for the last 127 years. Related through the eyes of a child who needs to complete a school assignment on superheroes, the child’s parents pick the example of the humble and hardworking dabbawallas as real-life superheroes. The story of this legendary Mumbai institution, which has gained Six Sigma certification and was once a case study at the Harvard School of Business, is then narrated as also are the dabbawallas’ struggles and achievements. Today there are about 5,000 dabbawallas who transport the lunches of over 2 lakh office-goers from their homes to their offices on foot, bicycle or via public transport. According to legend, the dabbawallas’ coding system is so accurate that lunch boxes have only the remotest chance of ever getting to a wrong destination and lunches are delivered punctually, come rain or shine. Says Anaida: “I’ve been a fan of the dabbawallas for many decades now. To me they are superheroes. What’s more dabbawallas are an illustration that having an education and degrees isn’t everything and that passion and integrity for one’s work are even more important.  When I thought of this initiative, my partners at SodaBottleOpenerWalla (SBOW) restaurant backed me up, as did the Palladium – in fact, whoever I spoke to jumped on board which just shows how loved the dabbawalla community is.” We learn that an initial run of ten thousand copies will be up for sale, priced at Rs100 each, and available primarily at SBOW outlets throughout the city.

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