Be our eyes and ears this festive season

Jul 08, 2013, 01:56 IST | Sujit Mahamulkar

This network of people, that delivers tiffin boxes across the city, will be given tips by top police officials on how to always stay alert and report suspicious observations

The city’s dabbawalas, famous for their management skills, will now help the Mumbai Police by keeping themselves alert during festivals. Fearing terrorists, the city police is usually on high alert during festivals like Ganeshostav, Navratri, etc and appeal to citizens to stay alert.

Keeping a tab: The dabbawalas will work not as police informers, but as alert citizens to help the police force, especially around festival time. File pic

In a meeting at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan auditorium near Girgaon Chowpatty, the police will give the dabbawalas tips on how they could keep an eye on happenings even while doing their duty.

The city has over 5,000 dabbawalas who deliver tiffin boxes from the home to the work place.

“This will be our first meeting with the police and we will interact with them on how to prevent untoward incidents and keep the city safe. It would be a pleasure for us to serve the city that gives us our bread and butter and our name and fame,” said Subhash Talekar, spokesperson of the dabbawala organisation, Mumbai Jewan Dabe Vahatuk Mandal.

“We will work not as police informers but as alert citizens. We’ve been asked to alert the police of any suspicious person or object,” added Talekar. The organisation has printed pamphlets and distributed them to dabbawalas.

Meanwhile, Nisar Tamboli, deputy commissioner of police zone II, has confirmed the meeting.

“This is a regular meeting like the one with Mohalla committee members,” said Tamboli.

Assistant police commissioner Anant Jadhav, senior police inspector Ajit Surve of the Dr DB Marg police station and assistant police inspector Vijay Shinde will also guide the dabbawalas.

Many of the dabbawalas hail from Bhor, Mulshi, Rajgadh, Mavalkhed, Ambegaon and Shivneri in Pune district.

They were in the limelight when Prince Charles of Britain met them outside a railway station in 2005. Prince Charles also invited some of them to his wedding.  

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