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Dabbawallas get another high profile visitor,this time from US

After Prince Charles and Richard Branson,US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke has expressed desire to meet the famed Mumbai dabbawallahs.

Written by Sharvari Patwa | Mumbai |
February 11, 2011 1:36:05 am

After Prince Charles and Richard Branson,US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke has expressed desire to meet the famed Mumbai dabbawallahs. On Friday,Locke is scheduled to spend 20 minutes with a group of dabbawallahs to understand their unique logistics operation.

According to Raghunath Medge of the Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association,Locke will meet them at Churchgate station. “He has requested to be explained how we work in such a perfect manner and supply thousands of tiffins with such preciseness,” said Medge. “We were informed about his desire to meet us few weeks back by the US consulate. We will explain the method of ‘sorting’ in detail to him,” said Medge.

Explaining the process,Medge said that the tiffins are segregated on the basis of code of the station from where it is picked and where it has to be sent,the route number and floor initials of the building it has to be sent to. “It is an elaborate process and we will take Mr Locke to the Churchgate station where he can meet the dabbawallas and interact with them.”

“I don’t know how well we can explain him about the codes which we follow for various stations in Mumbai,” Medge said. While there is excitement among the 5,000-odd dabbawallahs about the forthcoming visit of a ‘high profile US official’,only 100 dabbawallahs will get to meet Locke personally.

“It is interesting for the association that people who are the heads of business and commerce in foreign countries are coming to meet and understand business from uneducated dabbawallahs,” said Medge.

“We are planning to give Mr Locke a tiffinbox,our famous cap and a shawl as a momento,” said Medge.

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