Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands arrived in Mumbai yesterday to continue her official visit to India as United Nations Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance and Development.
The four-day trip began on Monday in New Delhi where the Queen met with UN representatives and had a sit down with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The PM’s office released a statement after the meeting saying:
“Prime Minister Modi and Queen Máxima discussed the various initiatives taken in the last few years by the government of India for enhancing financial inclusion in India, such as Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, and Atal Pension Yojan,…Queen Máxima appreciated the progress achieved by these initiatives.”
While in Mumbai – the financial heart of India – Queen Máxima is participating in a series of finance and development talks and will be meeting with Urjit Patel, governor of India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India.
During her busy schedule yesterday, she also took time to visit the Mumbai dabbawalas earlier this afternoon. She was given a traditional welcome by Dabbawala Association President Shantaram Karvande and Dabbawala Trust President Ulhas Mukhe. During the visit, the Queen learned about the mobile banking system used by the association which allows them to handle money matters quickly and safely.
The dabbawalas are a lunchbox delivery service which delivers hot lunches from homes or restaurants to more than 200,000 people every day. Lunchboxes are collected for delivery in the late morning, transported to their destination by bicycles and railway trains and then the empty containers are returned late in the afternoon. Literally translated, ‘dabbawala’ means “one who carries a box”.
Ahead of the royal visit Dabbawala Association spokesperson Subhash Talekar said: “The Queen of Netherlands, Queen Máxima will come to meet the Mumbai Dabbawalas in Andheri. We are visited by many people throughout the year and we are proud of it. We welcome the Queen and would be gifting her our traditional icon ‘dabba’”. Before Queen Máxima the Dabbawala visitors have included Prince Charles, Richard Branson and employees of Federal Express, there to study the methods used in the efficient delivery system.