Mumbai: Dabbawalas' warm welcome to protesting farmers
As a part of the roti-bank initiative, Mumbai's famous dabbawalas provided food and water to thousands of farmers, who walked for six days to reach Mumbai from Nashik to raise their demands. The farmers walked up to the Azad Maidan in South Mumbai early this morning as part of their "long march" for raising demands, including implementation of Maharashtra Government's loan waiver scheme.
Farmers are our food providers: Dabbawala Association
Subhash Talekar, the spokesperson of Mumbai Dabbawala Association, said, "We thought about helping the farmers with food as they are our food-providers and have come from remote parts of the state." "We asked our men working between Dadar (in Central Mumbai) and Colaba (South Mumbai) to collect food and deliver it to our farmer brothers at the Azad Maidan," he said.
City residents also helped protesting farmers
According to Talekar, the Mumbai roti-bank, of which the dabbawalas are an integral part, deploys GPS-tracked vans to collect excess food from eateries, hotels, public functions, and households, so that it can be distributed to the poor and hungry people. Meanwhile, city residents were also seen offering "Vada-pav" (a popular street snack), other food items and water to farmers last night.