Dharavi in Mumbai

Dharavi Overview

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Some would find it quite ironic that Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra and often called India’s financial capital, is home to one of the largest slums in the world. The area is known as Dharavi, which in many ways sum up the extreme paradoxes that exist in India. There is no verifiable source that claims Dharavi to be the largest slum in Asia; however, the importance of this area to Mumbai’s economic framework is undeniable.

Mumbai is a city that is always on the edge as something or the other keeps happening. There would be no better representation of this fact better than Dharavi - a place where everything happens in the fast lane. The hardcore labour class, which runs the city at an operational level, resides right here, in the heart of Mumbai.

Despite being a slum that battles with basic issues like hygiene and sanitation, it is a big centre of commerce and trade. Many small scale industries and businesses are based here, including some of the units that are engaged in producing export quality goods.

There is a lot about Dharavi that would intrigue tourists, especially those who are absolutely alien to the concept of a slum. For a number of visitors, this place can be an eye-opener or a reality check. Just to see so many people crammed into one small place and going about their businesses as usual is a remarkable sight. Many foreigners, some from a research perspective and others just wanting to lower their curiosity levels, visit Dharavi.

  • Photo Opp

    Shutterbugs are always looking to capture candid moments in their cameras. For many, Dharavi is an excellent place to click candid shots as diversity on display here is colossal.
  • Movie Connect

    Bollywood is an integral part of Mumbai and one cannot dissociate any part of the city with it, let alone Dharavi. It might interest many that several junior artistes, who aspire to become the next superstar, live in this slum. Dharavi has a deep connection with Bollywood as innumerable films have depicted this area of Mumbai. Cult classic and Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Deewar, Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay, Black Friday and the critically acclaimed Traffic Signal are just some of the films that have projected this slum. In many films, the protagonist (often the underdog) rises from the slum to become a hero and someone at a position of absolute power. Danny Boyle’s Oscar winning film, Slumdog Millionaire, took the film to another level by showing chase sequences and daily life in Dharavi.

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Mumbai, Maharashtra