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Dabbawallas: Fast Food, Mumbai Style

World Vision Report


This story originally aired on World Vision Report in December 2007.

MUMBAI, INDIA — Workers in Mumbai enjoy a unique kind of fast food. It’s not the mass-produced, fat-laden stuff we normally think of as fast food. This food is cooked fresh at home. It’s then rushed to offices and workplaces across town by the “lunchbox men,” or as they’re known in Mumbai, the dabbawallas. Poor, mostly illiterate workers have operated the lunch delivery service for well over a century with a remarkable record for efficiency and accuracy. In this story, I follow the journey of one particular lunch.

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