Guide Feeding the City: Work and Food Culture of the Mumbai Dabbawalas

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We made it! Only 9 days to go I really hope the book gets unglued. OpenBookPublishers May 8, , a.

The dabbas are back! OpenBookPublishers May 2, , a. A correction to our last response. All 30 titles are available as DRM-free pdfs.

Feeding the City: Work and Food Culture of the Mumbai Dabbawalas

Apologies for the confusion. OpenBookPublishers May 1, , a. RaymondYee April 30, , a. A collection of 30 ebooks is a very attractive premium!

Feeding the poor with Leftover food :Great initiative by Mumbai Dabbawalas

Are they available in DRM-free ePub format? OpenBookPublishers April 30, , a. We've just published our 30th book, and to celebrate we've got a great new premium for you: we're giving away a free digital edition of each of our first 30 books! In addition to being acknowledged as a bibliophile in the unglued edition of Feeding the City, your name or unglue username will be acknowledged in all other printed and digital editions of the work. Ashley April 22, , p. Every time I stop back at unglue.

OpenBookPublishers April 17, , a. The organisation runs its low-cost service at a very high level of performance. With deliveries to and from roughly , customers each day that translates to little more than delayed or missing dabbas in a year. Timeliness is crucial. Lunchboxes have to reach the client by every day and it can take up to three hours to deliver them. The whole city can be affected by late deliveries, says Sangle.


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Dabbawalas are waved through by members of the public and traffic police alike. The delivery schedule also has built-in buffers.

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If a delivery is due at , the dabbawala will aim for around — even if the destination is only a quarter of an hour away, says Sangle. Despite the tight schedule, most of the time dabbawalas appear surprisingly relaxed, joking and chatting as they sort their dabbas. But when the next stage of the process nears, there is five minutes of sudden intense activity.

At a dabbawala races around the corner on a bike and rushes shouting into an office building. The dabbawala was late by his own standards but the customer was probably never aware of the hiccup, he says. Following them around for the day is tough work. Strict timekeeping even extends to customers — if the full lunchbox is late for collection in the morning more than two or three times, they are dropped.

Feeding the City

Each dabbawala has a single collection and delivery area. At mid-morning they tour their neighbourhood on foot or by bicycle collecting an average of 30 dabbas. These are sorted at a local office or railway station and each dabbawala gets on a train with the dabbas heading for their delivery area. On arrival dabbas coming from all over the city are sorted again before being loaded onto bicycles and handcarts for the final leg.

The fame of the dabbawalas also gives the job a certain prestige. And as a cooperative all dabbawalas are equal partners with supervisors called mukadams who are elected. But there are also more profound reasons for their dedication. The dabbawalas belong almost exclusively to the Vakari community, which worships the Hindu god Vithala.

Vithala teaches that giving food is one of the greatest donations you can make. Even so, as the convenience of app-based delivery services catches on, will the dabbawalas keep up? Nirali, P. Advances in Management, 7 1 , Patel, N. Dabbawalas of Mumbai. Pathak, G.

A day in the life of a Mumbai dabbawala | A Chef's Tour

Delivering the Nation: The Dabbawala s of Mumbai. Ravichandran, N. Roncaglia, S. Open Book Publishers. Sharda, A. Deepak, k.

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