Mumbai dabbawalas deliver the World Health Day message

Mumbaikars were in for a surprise on the World Health Day. The iconic Mumbai dabbawalas delivered along with the dabba (lunch boxes), a specially created tag with simple messages about preventing and controlling vector-borne diseases, the theme of World Health Day 2014.

The famed dabbawalas have joined hands with WHO Country Office for India to create awareness about the ‘big threat of small bites’ and to motivate families and communities to protect themselves.

Speaking about the initiative, Dr Nata Menabde, WHO Representative to India said, “We are delighted to partner with the dabbawalas. While governmental efforts are critical for effective and efficient control of VBDs, prevention at individual, family and community levels is equally important.”

“The dabbawalas are uniquely placed to reach out to citizens with simple measures to protect themselves from the ‘small bites’. We value their support in sensitizing Mumbaikars,” she added.

WHO India

Expressing his happiness at being associated with WHO for this cause, Mr Raghunath Medge, ex-President of the Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Charity Trust said, “Reaching out to a large number of Mumbaikars will certainly have a multiplier effect and we will do our bit in making the citizens of this city more informed on how to protect themselves and their families.”

“People may miss billboards carrying health messages. But while opening the dabba, they are bound to notice the health tag,” he said.

A century old unique institution, the dabbawalas, have a six sigma rating. More than 5000 members of this unique organization deliver over 200 000 lunch boxes, making a total of 400 000 transactions a day.

On the occasion of the World Health Day 2014, WHO Country Office for India calls for greater and focused attention to prevention and control of VBDs in India - dengue, malaria, chikungunya, lymphatic filariasis, kala-azar (also known as visceral leishmaniasis) and Japanese encephalitis.