“The slums are not a place of despair. Its inhabitants are all working towards a better life.”
We live in big houses, have a proper water supply, proper food. We fight to earn a living and consider it as the greatest fight in this world. If you also think the same let me introduce you to the Asia’s largest Slum. Yes, it is in India. Dharavi is the largest Slum in Asia. Founded in 1882 during the British era.
Covering an area of 535 acres its population vary between 700,000 to massive 1 million. Just imagine the amount of people living in Slums. Oh! Mumbai, You are a Sufferer.
Considering its area and population size around 600 to 2000 people live in an acre. Yes, it must be quite crowded.
We can consider it is a city within a city.
It is massively populated with open sewers and narrow alley that we can possibly imagine.
Even movies like Slumdog millionaire were shot here.
But it is not as what is seems like. It is currently a multi-religious, multi-ethnic, diverse settlement.
Dharavi is so big that it has its own economy. There are many household enterprises that employ local slum people and the average turnover of this small economy is estimated to be $1 billion.
Its location has also made it a hot real estate in Mumbai, a city that epitomizes India’s hopes of becoming an economic rival to China.
Though in 2011 India census, it is not the biggest slum in Asia but considering the amount of population per acre and the turnover of its economy , no one is near to it these terms.
Most of these slum dwellers survive on less than $1USD per day and spend their entire days working long hours in the blistering sun, using rivers as toilets, sleeping on sidewalks and scraping to find shelter under bridges.
With an average of one toilet per 1450 people, it is the most productive slum in this world. Ya, I know I am I am criticizing and motivating it at the same time,But this is how it is. Some good has to be found out in everything.
With poverty comes it’s many side effects.
In Dharavi, no women are allowed to work in Factories following that old trauma of women and only men work. Child labor is quite frequent here and you will find a child working at every place.
With no growth and feeling of leaving the place over 60 percent of their population living here is about to live here for the last 60+ years.
It is divided into 2 parts. One is Industrial part and the second is the Residential part.
Recycling is the major part of the Industrial area and the waste we throw here and there, comes here to get recycled.
The entire Residential area lacks any sort of infrastructures such as roads, public conveniences, and toilets.
In the Residential area, a small room accommodates as much as 8 people with no facilities like toilet, entertainment etc.
But in spite of all this, Residents of Dharavi are happy to live there probably because they have never seen the outer world.
About 33% of the population of Dharavi is Muslim and territories are divided into it as per the Religion.
The Christian population is estimated to be about 6%, while the rest are predominantly Hindus (60%).
Dharavi has severe problems with public health. Due to the air pollutants, diseases such as lung cancer, tuberculosis, and asthma are common among residents. There are government proposals in regards to improving Dharavi’s sanitation issues but nothing much had ever happened actually.
Many business men are generating millions of Dollars per year from the slum people. What else a poor slum person will want. Just offer him some food and they will unite to make you earn millions of Dollars. This is how Business works? Disgusting
Featured image source: Shekhar Dharavi