WINDSOR: The famous dabbawalas in Mumbai distributed sweets among the relatives of patients undergoing treatment in government-run hospitals here today to celebrate the wedding of Prince Harry of the British royal family and former actress Meghan Markle.
The dabbawalas ferry tiffins of home-cooked food to thousands of office-goers in the city every day.
Mumbai Dabbawala Association runs a 'Roti Bank', through which free-of-cost food is provided to the relatives of patients undergoing treatment at the government-run Tata Memorial Hospital, KEM Hospital and Wadia Hospital.
"Today, along with the regular food, we distributed sweets to them.
Though we were not invited (for the wedding), this was our way of expressing our happiness on the occasion," Subhash Talekar, spokesperson of the association said.
The relationship of Mumbai's dabbawalas and the royal family dates back to 2003, when Prince Charles had come on his maiden visit to Mumbai.
He had then met the dabbawalas and had lauded their work acumen, accuracy and punctuality, and was impressed with their work culture.
"We have an emotional bond with the British royal family.
Prince Charles had invited us for his wedding some years ago.
The royal family treated us with a lot of respect when we attended the wedding," Talekar said.
According to him, the dabbawalas have also sent a salwar kurta and a "pheta" (turban) for Prince Harry and a Paithani saree for Meghan Markle.
Some five thousand dabbawalas deliver around two lakh lunch boxes to offices in Mumbai every day.
They are known for their flawless delivery system, which has been studied by global management experts.
Harry (33), fifth-in-line to the British throne, and Markle (36) are set to get married in a ceremony at St Georges Chapel at Windsor Castle today.