Mumbai's 'Dabbawalas' New Ambassadors of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

26/12/2014 9:29 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST
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A lunch delivery man or 'Dabbawala' holds up a tiffin box as he participates in a session of 'Laughter' yoga in Mumbai, India, Friday, Feb. 22, 2008. The about 4,500 strong force of dabbawalas deliver home-cooked food to about 1,50,000 customers thoroughout Mumbai. Laughter yoga is believed to aid in relieving stress and increase a sense of well-being. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)

Mumbai's iconic dabbawalas, known world over for their efficiency in delivering tiffins, today took to streets and cleaned areas in suburbs, a day after being appointed a brand ambassador of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday nominated dabbawalas, among others, to take taking forward the "Clean India" mission, launched with much fanfare on October 2.

While continuing with their task of delivering tiffin boxes to thousands of customers across the financial capital, the suppliers, all commoners, formed a special team to implement the task given to them.

Armed with brooms and other cleaning equipment, they went on removing garbage and sweeping streets around Andheri and Lower Parel railway stations for over an hour.

"Our men could not leave the dabba (tiffin) supply work to clean the streets. But we also could not stop ourselves from sending out the message that our city should be kept clean and green.

"That's why, a substitute team of ours, consisting about 25 members, cleaned Andheri station and areas outside Lower Parel station," said Raghunath Medge, Head of Mumbai Dabbawala Association.

"We will not stop at this. We have to make sure that we make the Prime Minister feel proud of us. We will continue to do our bit everyday in keeping Mumbai clean," he told PTI.

A team of substitute members of dabbawalas will continuously work towards fulfilling Modi's dream of a Clean India, Medge maintained.

"We are a team of common people, without much resources.

But we are very hard working. We will continue to set an example by doing our daily job and at the same time do social work. It is now up to the people of the city to realise the importance of cleanliness," he said.

Dabbawalas have joined a long list of celebrities and noted personalties who have been asked by the Prime Minister to join the cleanliness drive.

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