Mumbai's dabewalas seek Rs 2,000 monetary help from govt after one succumbs to coronavirus

Mumbai's dabewalas seek Rs 2,000 monetary help from govt after one succumbs to coronavirus

After a Mumbai's dabewala (tiffin carriers) succumbed to the novel coronavirus, the dabewalas association has ones again renewed its demand for monetary help from the government.

Santosh Ramchandra Jadhav, a resident of Malad, died of the novel coronavirus on June 24 at Nair Hospital. He is survived by his parents, wife and a 5-year-old son.

According to other dabewalas, Jadhav had been to his in-law's residence in Andheri as his father-in-law was not keeping well.

"It is here that he too fell ill. He was shifted to the dedicated Covid hospital but could not be saved. His wife has been quarantined. His son and parents are said to be safe in Malad," they said.

After Jadhav's demise, the dabewalas association has ones again demanded monetary help from the government even as many dabewalas are left jobless since lockdown.

There are 5,000 dabewalas in Mumbai who have been rendered jobless because of the lockdown.

The dabewalas operate, pick up lunch boxes from residences and drop them to the offices of their clients, using the well-connected suburban railway system. But since the closure of local trains, their work has come to a standstill.

Most of these dabewalas live in slums where there are common washrooms for hundreds of people.

Due to the aggravating coronavirus scare and no job, many left the city. Only about 10 per cent of the dabewalas are in the city.

The dabewala association has been trying to provide ration to the families of the dabewalas who are in the metropolis. But now, they say that the government should give monetary compensation to not just Jadhav's family but also to every dabewala who has been jobless for the past three months.

Subhash Talekar, President, Mumbai Dabewala Association, said: "In April, the Maharashtra government had announced monetary help of Rs 2,000 for the migrant labourers. We have been asking for the same. I have heard that it has been discussed as well by the cabinet ministers. But no decision was taken. I request Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to decide on this."

"The dabbawalas are suffering because of no income. The government should provide help for Jadhav's family and also help dabbawalas with Rs 2,000 so that the dabbawalas do not suffer any further," Subhash Talekar said.