Tag Archives: Mumbai Slum

Dharavi: A feature

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It doesn’t take a wizard’s eye to see the advantage that Dharavi has. It is served by two railway lines suitable for middle class commuters, along with Bandra Kurla complex, a global corporate enclave located directly across the remaining mangrove swamps, as close to Dharavi as Wall Street is to Brooklyn Heights. Dharavi enjoys the advantage of being close to both the Domestic as well as the International Airport.

There is not a single kind of work that is not being done in Dharavi from the daily wages unskilled labourer to the highly skilled craftsmen whose works are exported to Americas and the Europe.

Dharavi, right in the middle of the map. Is a quirk of geography and history. Large masses of poor people are not supposed to be in the center of the city. They are supposed to be on the periphery, stacked up on the outskirts. Dharavi had once been on the northern fringe, but ever growing Mumbai had sprawled toward the famous slum, eventually surrounding it.

Dharavi is routinely called “the largest slum in Asia,” a dubious attribution sometimes conflated into “the largest slum in the world.” This is not true. Mexico City’s Neza-Chalco-Itza barrio has four times as many people. In Asia, Karachi’s Orangi Township has surpassed Dharavi. Even in Mumbai, where about half of the city’s swelling 12 million population lives in what is euphemistically referred to as “informal” housing, other slum pockets rival Dharavi in size and squalor.

coming soon more on Dharavi’s contribution to economy.