At the Sabawala household in Lokhandwala at Andheri, the joy of savouring traditional Bohri cuisine has extended beyond Eid this year. Tasneem Sabawala’s family has been relishing the Bohri food delivered at their doorstep every afternoon.
The Sabawalas, who are Dawoodi Bohras, have signed up for Fazlul Mavaedil Burhaniyah, a lunch service launched for the community as part of the 100th birthday celebrations of their spiritual leader — Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. A similar service already exists for Bohris living in Cairo, Colombo and the United Kingdom.
“Now, my two sons eat healthy, traditional food and it comes at a nominal cost of Rs1,100 per month,” said Sabawala, who heads a social club and does not have time to cook Bohri food every day.
In the first phase, 20,000 Bohri families living in the central zone (Kurla to Matheran), south Mumbai (Colaba to Dadar) and the suburbs (Bandra to Palghar) have signed up for the service.
The lunch packets comprise rotis, daal, rice, a vegetarian or non-vegetarian curry and a sweet dish. “The food service allows me to spend some extra time with my children every morning, outside the kitchen,” said Tasneem Sakharwala, a resident of Chinchpokli.
The food is provided free to people who cannot afford to pay. “No Bohri should go to bed on an empty stomach. The service will help bridge the gap between the rich and the poor,” said Mustafa Campwala, head of the Jogeshwari unit. The fee received from financially stable families is used to cross-subsidise the food for others.
“Those who need jobs can help prepare and serve the food to their brothers. It is a self-sustaining scheme,” Campwala said.
While some Bohris call the service “progressive”, there are others who believe the funds could have been used for education and healthcare.