This post is sponsored by Corning® Gorilla® Glass
One of the best ways children can learn about the world is to step outside their homes and communities and travel. Whether you travel to a different part of your state, the country, or across the globe physically or through a virtual field trip, teaching kids about people around the world helps them become compassionate global citizens who have a better understanding of how the world works and respect and value diversity.
Today I invite you to join me and Corning® Gorilla® Glass on a virtual field trip series around the world as we highlight stories of incredibly tough people, using incredibly tough devices and doing incredibly tough things in their everyday lives. Watching videos in the series serves as great conversation starter to help kids learn more about the people, cultures, and jobs in countries around the globe.
Each post in the series will feature elements that are designed to deepen the understanding of the topics touched on in the video such as geography, history, and culture. I’ll also include follow up questions for you to continue the conversation with your kids to help them develop into global citizens.
Today we’re going to kick off our virtual field trip series in Mumbai, India so I hope you’ll join me to meet the Dabbawalas.
Virtual Field Trip: Meet the Dabbawalas
What if you could have a hot home cooked lunch delivered to your child at school every day? Would you worry that your child’s lunch might get mixed up with a classmate’s and they’d never receive the right one on time? This would never happen in India where Mumbai’s Dabbawalas deliver 200,000 lunch tiffins (dabbas) to locations around the city each day.
Today we’ll meet Shankar, one of 5,000 Dabbawalas who is responsible for delivering fresh home-cooked lunches to the city’s office workers daily. Every day Shankar wakes up at 6 am to travel approximately 40 miles (65 kilometers), carrying over 130 pounds (60 kilograms) of meals on his head during the course of the day.
Dabbawalas, like Shankar, have been delivering lunches since 1890 and the practice has been studied by corporations and universities because they have a 99.999999 percent delivery accuracy rate. Amazing!
Virtual Field Trip Discussion Guide: Mumbai’s Incredibly Tough Dabbawalas
Taking a virtual field trip to Mumbai to learn about the incredibly tough job of Dabbawalas can be used to spark a discussion in your home about geography, history, and food in India. Here are some ways you can use this video from the Corning Gorilla Glass Incredibly Tough series to deepen your child’s understanding about topics seen in the video.
Begin your learning with a geography lesson. Pull out a map or a globe and locate where in the world India is.
- Preschoolers— Identifying where India is on a map, looking at a picture of the national flag, and going to your local library to find some children’s stories and folktales from India is a great way to expand young minds to the world around them.
- Elementary Ages— Gauge what’s most appropriate for your kindergartener through fifth grade age child since learning should be tailored to their interests and desire to learn. A good place to start is the overview of India from National Geographic Kids that can be used to figure out what else your child might want to learn about the country.
- Tweens and Teens— The video about lunch delivery by the Dabbawalas opens the door for learning about what life is like for tweens and teens in India. Tweens and teens might like taking a peek at The Teenager Today, India’s first and only magazine published in India for teens. It will give them a sense of the gadgets, apps, video games, and issues India’s 3 million teens care about.
If the video virtual field trip about Dabbawalas sparked your child’s interest in learning more about them, read more about what a day in the life of a Dabbawala is like to understand the history behind the practice and how they came to exist as an important part of Mumbai’s culture.
For a deeper dive into the history of the city formerly known as Bombay, this Encyclopedia Britannica article on Mumbai will appeal to upper elementary ages (grades 3-5) thanks to age appropriate text, videos that are embedded in the piece, and photos throughout. Teens who need more information will find more details about the history of Bombay in this text dense piece from the British Library.
Food in Mumbai
What goes in a dabba? Dabbawalas never open the dabbas that they deliver but they guess chapatis, rice, and vegetables and some customers have told them that they’ve delivered a movie ticket, a flower, and even an apology note.
These are some of the popular foods in Mumbai that could also be in the dabbas! Take a look and see what you might be willing to try!
If you have a house of picky eaters and none of the above appealed to your little ones, chapatis are often in dabbas and are relatively easy to make.
This whole wheat bread is served with curry, main dishes, and can even be used as bread for sandwich wraps. AllRecipes has an easy chapati recipe that is perfect for replicating something that Mumbai’s Dabbawalas bring to their customers for lunch.
Continuing the Conversation After the Virtual Field Trip
Additional questions parents can ask their kids to continue the conversation about Dabbawalas include:
- What is tough about what the Dabbawalas do? Do you think you could develop a system to deliver this many lunches per day without a mistake?
- The Dabbawalas rely on teamwork. How have you worked as a team to get a job done? Have you ever been on a team where someone didn’t do their part? What do you think could happen if Dabbawalas didn’t work together?
- The Dabbawalas do this amazing work without the benefit of formal education. Why do you think some kids don’t go to school? How might the learning in schools change?
Thanks for joining me on this virtual field trip to Mumbai to learn more about the Dabbawalas! Look for more virtual field trips inspired by the Corning® Gorilla® Glass Incredibly Tough series soon!
To learn more about Corning® Gorilla® Glass:
- Visit www.incrediblytough.com and the Corning® Gorilla® Glass website
- Watch more incredibly tough individuals doing incredibly tough things in their everyday lives on the Corning® Gorilla® Glass Incredibly Tough YouTube playlist
- Follow Corning® Gorilla® Glass on Twitter
- Like Corning® Gorilla® Glass on Facebook
- Like Corning® Gorilla® Glass on Instagram
- Read my past posts about Corning® Gorilla® Glass
Although this post is sponsored as part of my work with Corning Incorporated, all opinions are my own.