I was in India last week and did a private tour through Dharavi Slum in Mumbai. Was eye opening to say the least. Majority of their recycling comes from McDonalds.
Here is my post from Facebook:
Had been wanting to go to Dharavi Slum for the past few years, but was a little torn about going with a tour group and didn’t feel confident enough to go alone. At the end of the day, people live here and I know I wouldn’t like strangers walking through my house.
I found Mohammed via Facebook and knew he would be a good option given he lives within the city
Dharavi has a population of around 1 million ppl living in a 1.5km sq area.
Everyone in Dharavi works. It’s the biggest recycling and manufacturing hub in India and has over 5,000 businesses 15,000 single room factories and produces $700million a year in revenue.
Plastic recycling, soap, bakery items, pottery, shoes (ladies), suitcases, leather, bricks, fabrics, sheets... were all items I got to see being made today. Most of the plastics come from McDonalds.
I was amazed by how clean the place is on the inside. The homes are 5m sq areas with tiled floors that have a double bed and the rest of the space is used as combined kitchen and family area for the entire family. There is 24 hour electricity and the water runs for 3 hours a day. During this time, people bath, wash clothes and fill blue drums that they self serve water out of for the rest of the day. There is a communal toilet block and a big free space where there were loads of kids playing cricket. There’s also a market/shopping area.
In the factory area, the men work down stairs and sleep and eat there or sleep upstairs. There’s small eateries around that provide 2 x meals a day delivered for $14US a week. Most of the workers families live in villages and they purely live in Dharavi to work as they have no (or minimal) education.
I was free to take pics except in any of the factories that were making food items. I was also trying to be respectful to the people and only took pics if they offered.
The locals aren’t happy with the Slumdog Movie. They say it depicted the area to be a poverty stricken, high crime area.... which they say it isn’t.
There are schools, hospitals and churches (of every denomination) within the slum.
I felt completely comfortable walking around and the locals were more than happy to shake hands and have a chat
(Oh. And I got to go inside the local cinema. Mohammed did warn me that majority of the population of the slum was male... and he didn’t know what would be playing on the screen. Was a dark room with 40 ppl sitting on the floor and a small screen on the wall playing a sexy lady movie 😂)