MIT Institute of Design

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Prof. Mathew Kurien

MIT Institute Of Design students reduce 'Burden' on Dabbewala

Two students here at MIT Institute of Design have designed a jacket for Mumbai Dabbawalas. After thorough research, screening of concepts, prototyping, iterations and user-validation they finalized on the optimum Design for the jacket. Equipped with the jacket the dabbawalas will now be able to carry 35 tiffins without the crate / basket that they used previously. The jacket is designed with aluminium strips in it and ensures proper support and uniform weight distribution to minimize the strain on the dabbawalas. Also using this jacket they can now board the local trains in Mumbai easily and safely as both their hands will be free.

Facing the heavy downpour and profuse sweating in the heat and adjusting with the timetable of the local trains, these tiffin suppliers meticulously do the stupendous task of collecting the Tiffin’s from all the suburbs of Mumbai and deliver them at the working places punctually. With the feeling that though these suppliers do their jobs dexterously, they may be facing some difficulties, two students from MIT Institute of Design decided to study their system. They reached Mumbai and had detail discussion with Mr. Medge. They expressed their desire to study the system by accompanying the suppliers at job. Mr. Medge whole heartedly granted them permission and guided them.

Miss Nikita Chonkar and Miss Bhargavi Joglekar, the two students, carefully & analytically studied all the steps right from picking up the Tiffin’s from the collection point upto the delivery, and crystallized the problems involved. The suppliers carry the tiffins using wooden crates / baskets. They traverse their path through the crowds lifting these baskets. This is very cumbersome. Finding the alternatives, these students developed equipment in the form of a jacket, which can carry 35 tiffins at a time. The equipment was put to test. Based on the feedback received from the tiffin suppliers from time to time, the equipment was fine tuned. In the whole process, the two students received valuable guidance from Prof. Dhimant Panchal and Prof. Amit Deshmukh.
When the office-bearers of the Badlapur branch of Rotary Club learnt about the development of equipment for the convenience of the tiffin suppliers, they showed keen interest to patronize the first batch of equipments. Accordingly, a batch of 100 equipments was prepared and on 16th June, 2013, 100 jackets were distributed to the tiffin suppliers.

The Dabbawalas present were very happy about this and wholeheartedly accepted the jackets.