Amid Covid crisis, Mumbai Dabbawalas call for help; raise over ₹20 lakh in 4 days
- Ulhas Shantaram Muke, the president of the Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Charity Trust, thanked everyone who came forward and showed their support.
Hit hard by yet another coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdown and struggling to make ends meet, Mumbai’s iconic Dabbawalas reached out for help. And, their appeal was met with equal enthusiasm. The dabbawalas have raised over ₹20 lakh in just four days with the help of a fundraiser organisation as more than 1000 people have donated so far through Milaap.
“When I first spoke to the dabbawalas, I got to know that more than 2000 of them are struggling to make ends meet. I sensed the urgency of their appeal and felt that a campaign on Milaap can be of great help for them. The response has been great so far with more than 1000 donations in less than a week,” Debosmita De, a marketing operations associate with Milaap, said.
Ulhas Shantaram Muke, the president of the Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Charity Trust, thanked everyone who came forward and showed their support. “The campaign on Milaap has raised over ₹20 lakh in just 4 days. This is a great ray of hope for us to procure ration and pay off our rents in this challenging time,” Muke added. “We have worked hard every single day to build this system. Dabbawalas are in a lot of trouble now. The situation is such that a 100 ₹note is equivalent to ₹10,000,” Sopan Laxman Mare, a Dabbawala, said.
As the 130-year-old delivery network has seen the business plunge by nearly 90% with many offices in Mumbai still closed, the Dabbawalas have also urged the Maharashtra government for financial help. “Out of the 5000 Dabbawalas, only 400-500 were working. With new lockdown restrictions, only 200-250 are now left. We are again urging the government for financial help,” Vishnu Kaldoke, Mumbai dabbawala spokesperson, told news agency ANI earlier this month.
The Maharashtra government on Wednesday announced fresh restrictions on travel, attendance in offices and wedding functions to check the Covid-19 spread. The effect came into force from Thursday night.
Maharashtra, facing an unprecedented surge in Covid-19 cases, is already under severe restrictions since April 14. On Thursday, Maharashtra recorded 67,013 fresh coronavirus cases and 568 fatalites, taking the tally to 40,94,840, said a health department official.