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MUMBAI, Mar 25: The humble, semi-literate, yet Six Sigma certified Mumbai dabbawala just got smarter. This evening, this much-talked about community will launch its own website — www.mydabbawala.com  — at a function in Vile Parle.
 
Even though the site is in its initial stages of development — the pictures are pixellated, the design is amateurish, and it runs free on a popular web hosting site called GoDaddy.com —the man who developed and designed the website says it will soon have a section where Mumbaikars can apply for a dabba delivery service online.
 
“We do not want to emphasise on design,” says Manish Tripathi, a software engineer from Varanasi, who has created the site free of cost. “The site has been built to essentially bring the regular Mumbai citizen closer to the dabbawala. By next week, you can apply online for a dabba to be delivered to your office.”

Dabbawalas have been around in the city for the last 115 years, but it was only after Prince Charles’ visit in 2003, and Virgin Atlantic chief Richard Branson’s visit in 2005 that the community got worldwide attention. “The site will now take us to a different level,” feels Raghunath Medge, president of the Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association. “We currently deliver nearly 1.75 lakh dabbas a day. With the site, we hope to take that number to 2 lakh in the near future.”
 
The association has more than 5000 dabbawalas, each earning around Rs4,000 per month. “Besides being a single point of contact with the world,” says Tripathi, “this site will also help employment as it will help get more orders.”
 
Medge feels the site will also bust a few myths about the community.
 
On the site, you can...
Order a dabba online (application goes live next week)
Track your order status
Learn about this history of the dabbawala community
Buy endorsed products like T-shirts, CDs, and mugs
Download wallpapers

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