Mumbai's dabbawalas will for the first time break their 120-year-old tradition of delivering tiffins on Friday as they go on a day-long strike in support of Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement.
"We have decided to call it a strike as we want to show our support to Anna Hazare's jan lokpal bill. He is fighting for the cause of the common man and we have to support him. This strike is needed to wake the government up," said Kiran Gaw-ande, secretary, Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Charity Trust and Association.
Though the dabbawalas do not deliver tiffins on public holidays and take an annual pilgrimage holiday, this is the first time they are going on a strike. Around 2,000 dabbawalas will participate in a protest march at 11 am from Churchgate to Azad Maidan, where they will spend the entire day with other Hazare supporters.
"We want to express our solidarity with the citizens of this country through the strike. Our customers are also supporting us and do not mind missing their dabbas for a day," said Barku Phapale, 43, a dabbawala, adding that they would also court arrest if needed.
However, Sitaram Indore, 73, who is supporting the strike, feels that it will not bring about any changes in the system.
"This year, we have seen so many scams within the government. I feel a protest against corruption is necessary. But I do not understand how this strike will help. We should instead do our work and express our discontent against the system," said Indore, who has been delivering tiffins for the last 53 years.