Mumbai: Mumbai's iconic dabbawalas or lunch box carriers celebrated the wedding of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday by distributing sweets to the families of patients at the city's government hospitals.
The dabbawalas have also sent a salwar kurta and a pheta or turban as wedding gifts for Prince Harry and a traditional Paithani saree in yellow and green for Meghan Markle.
As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchanged wedding vows at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, millions of people around the world watched the ceremony online and on television. On Saturday, bystanders at three government hospitals got sweets along with their free-of-cost food that the dabbawalas distribute every day.
"Though we were not invited (for the wedding), this was our way of expressing our happiness on the occasion," Subhash Talekar, spokesperson of the Mumbai Dabbawala Association said.
The dabbawalas formed a special bond with the British royals 15 years ago when Prince Charles, Prince Harry's father, met them in Mumbai. In 2003, Prince Charles had met the dabbawalas and had praised 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," Mr Talekar said.
Children at Mumbai's Gurukul School of Art painted posters of the royal couple and Queen Elizabeth.
Nearly 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.
(With inputs from PTI)