Dabbawalas Deliver Food from Home  達巴瓦拉的午餐宅急便

Bertus van Aswegen




Mumbai has a population of around 20 million. As in other large, modern cities, many people there work in offices. However, while office workers in New York or London eat out for lunch, those in Mumbai can enjoy home-cooked meals in their offices. This is made possible by men who are known as dabbawalas.



Dabbawalas are an important part of life in Mumbai. They collect hot food in lunch boxes from the workers' homes in the late morning. Then, they deliver the lunches to the workers' offices by bicycle or by train. After lunch, they return the empty boxes to the workers' homes. Dabbawalas use an organized system for delivering tens of thousands of lunch boxes every day, and they rarely make a mistake.




Office workers use the service of dabbawalas because they prefer food that is cooked at home by their mothers or wives. Such food is tastier, healthier, cleaner, and less expensive than meals that are served in restaurants. Thanks to dabbawalas, workers are able to have a lovingly prepared lunch every day.


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