He delivers calorie-free lunches to city’s fitness freaks. But ask dabbawala Babban Kadam about olive oil or a low-carbohydrate diet, and all you will get is a blank stare.
Kadam, who has been delivering tiffins to south Mumbai offices for the last 26 years has never visited a gym and can barely pronounce the word “calorie”. However, he has managed to maintain a fit body even at the age of 49.
“We don’t earn enough to afford rich, high-calorie food. Moreover, we operate packed schedules during the day, which don’t allow even a snack in the middle of the day,” said Kadam. The dabbawala carries only two dry rotis and one dry sabzi in his dabba. “We purchase oil and ghee only during festivals,” added Kadam, who cycles for almost three hours every day to commute to his workplace from his home in Kandivali.
Eknath Khandghor, a Jogeshwari-based dabbawala, carries the same lunch as Kadam. “It’s only recently that people have started getting conscious about their health and fitness. My humble lifestyle and strenuous job have helped me stay fit without incurring an additional expense,” said the 29-year-old tiffin carrier, who has a relatively elaborate spread for dinner. “My dinner comprises an additional bowl of dal and raita makes up my dinner, which gives me the much-needed proteins and vitamins,” he added.
“If we binge in the afternoons, we will automatically feel lethargic to work.”