Rising inflation forces Mumbai’s dabbawalas to hike charges

The iconic Mumbai dabbawalas or lunch box carriers, have hiked the costs of their delivery by Rs 100 a month to cope up with the rising cost of essential commodities. ‘We are requesting our customers to support us in the time of crisis, as we will not be able to survive at a time when costs of essential commodities are escalating. We do not want our dabbawalas to commit suicide, when they fail to pay up for the bare minimal comforts of life,’ Raghunath Medge, former president of Mumbai dabbawalas Association told PTI. Medge attributed the steep hike to rise in prices of vegetables and costs of transport.

‘Each year, we made sure that a minimal hike is done. But in the last one year prices of vegetables have rose steeply and now, even transportation has become costlier. The prices of petrol have once again been hiked. We cannot take this anymore,’ Medge added. Mumbai’s 5,000 odd ‘dabbawalas’ have been in action for over 125 years now, without any halts in their work pattern and deliver about 1 lakh lunches everyday to office goers, school children and students.

The dabbawalas, that lie in an income group of Rs 8,000-10,000 a month, have a Six Sigma quality certificate and a global business fan club, which includes Prince Charles and Richard Branson.
Their unique management and operational models have become subjects of management study beyond textbooks for global business schools.
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