Mumbai’s dabbawalas and workers of international consulates and excessive commissions have been allowed to travel in local trains that are at the moment being run just for important companies workers, officers mentioned on Wednesday. Dabbawalas, the well-known lunch-box carriers in Mumbai, final month mentioned there was by no means a six-month break within the “130 -year-old history of the tiffin services”, and demanded entry to local trains to renew their companies in full capability.
Currently, in view of the COVID-19 restrictions, solely the dabbawalas who might attain the south Mumbai space on their cycles had been capable of ship meals to office-goers.
They have now expressed happiness on being allowed to board local trains with impact from Tuesday.
Sumit Thakur, chief public relations officer of the Western Railway, mentioned primarily based on the unlock pointers issued by the Maharashtra authorities on September 30, they’ve allowed the dabbawalas to travel in local trains.
“The staff of foreign consulates and high commissions have also been permitted to travel in local trains, as per the directives received from the Ministry of Railways,” he mentioned.
Over 5,000 dabbawalas run the tiffin supply enterprise within the metropolis.
Before the outbreak of COVID-19, they used to ship over two lakh tiffins to office-goers on regular working days.
They use suburban trains to make sure lunch packing containers are delivered on the vacation spot on time.
Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer of the Central Railway, mentioned QR-coded ID playing cards issued by the state authorities will likely be necessary for them to travel in local trains, however dabbawalas have requested that they be allowed to travel on their id playing cards.
“If the Maharashtra government agrees to their demand, we will permit them to travel on their ID cards,” he mentioned.
Subhash Talekar, spokesperson of the Mumbai Dabbawala Association, expressed happiness on being allowed to travel in local trains.
“Finally, after more than six months, we can resume our service,” Talekar mentioned, including dabbawalas will now contact their clients and request them to renew the tiffin service.
He was, nevertheless, skeptic about resumption of companies in full capability amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Before the pandemic, every dabbawala had on an average 20 to 22 customers, but I doubt all customers will resume the service immediately as many people are still working from home,” he mentioned.
Another difficulty is that many housing societies are nonetheless not permitting outsiders into the premises, he mentioned.
Talekar mentioned the dabbawalas will begin tiffin supply even with 4 to 5 clients initially as they know it should take a while for issues to normalise.
“We are going to follow the COVID-19 safety protocols like wearing masks and gloves, using sanitisers and maintaining social distance and will also ensure our customers about it,” he mentioned.
Most of the dabbawalas hail from Maval space of Pune in western Maharashtra.
Following the enforcement of lockdown in March this yr, lots of them returned to their native locations in Junnar, Ambegaon, Rajgurunagar, Maval, Haveli, Mulashi and different talukas in Pune district.
(With PTI inputs)