Mumbai dabbawallas bless British royal baby



Mumbai's famous dabbawallas Tuesday celebrated the birth of a son to Prince William and his wife Catherine in Britain and blessed the baby, a representative said here.

"We are equally thrilled to learn about the new arrival in the British royal family. Around a hundred of us celebrated the event, distributed sweets and offered blessings to the future king," Subhash Talekar, spokesperson of Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association, told IANS.

The next - and more difficult - step is to send a box of 'pedhas' to Prince Charles who has now become a grandfather, said Talekar.

"We plan to contact the British Deputy High Commission in Mumbai and seek their advice on how to go about it. We are keen that the royal family gets a chance to taste our traditional Indian sweet on this historic occasion," he said.

The 5,000 dabbawallas in Mumbai who ferry lunch boxes to and from homes and offices in Mumbai, have been the topic of several international management studies and research.

Serving Mumbaikars since 125 years, their precise work and discipline has earned the lunch-box carriers laurels from all over the world.

Talekar said it was Prince Charles who first visited and spent time with Mumbai dabbawallas during a visit to Mumbai in November 2003.

Prince Charles is the father-in-law of Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge - better known by her maiden name Kate Middleton - who Monday morning gave birth in London to her and Prince William's first child, a baby boy, who will be third in line to the British throne.

Talekar said: "Though we were known within India, Prince Charles' visit brought us international acclaim and recognition, which we fondly cherish."

A delegation of dabbawallas was also invited to attend Prince Charles' wedding with Camilla Parker-Bowles in April 2005 in London. - IANS