Season 3

Episode 115: Dabbawalla

Each day in Mumbai 4000 men in white outfits and matching hats transport 175,000 lunches across the big city. They retrieve the tiffens (lunch containers) of food from mothers and wives, and bring them (by foot, train, bicycle and even carried on top of their heads) to the office buildings of waiting husbands and sons. The Dabbawallas have been doing this since the late 1800s. Despite the unsophisticated mode of transport, the lunches always arrive on time (the error rate is 1 in every 16 million transactions).  It’s a pretty impressive feat and we were lucky enough to follow a couple Dabbawallas for a day in Mumbai, and see their work first hand.  Special Thanks to Intrepid Travel.