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Photographer's Note

Mumbai - Living in Dharavi

As mentioned in the note with my previous picture Dharavi is the largest slum in Mumbai and throughout India.
It is estimated that more than one million people live there making it one of the areas with the largest population density in the world.

Dharavi has been depicted in a number of Hindi films and since 2008 it has gained particular international acclaim with the British movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ by Danny Boyle.

Dharavi is not a homogeneous neighbourhood. Depending on where you are, it can look very different.
The main picture shows an area with many small alleys. The houses are built close together. The low-rise building style and the narrow street structure make this area very cramped and confined.
There is potable water and power supply. Cooking gas is supplied in the form of liquefied petroleum gas cylinders as well as through piped natural gas.

However Dharavi has severe problems with public health and there are sanitation issues with an average of 1 toilet per 1.450 people.
There’s a river that is widely used by local residents for urination and defecation causing the spread of contagious diseases. The man who guided me around in Dharavi referred to an area with shrubs and plants that was called the ‘jungle toilet’.
There’s also a section where the residents wash their clothes in water that people defecate in. Of course this spreads a lot of diseases.

Surprising to me was that I saw several people with a mobile phone.
Obviously I think it's very good that even the poorest of Mumbai can be reached by telephone and can reach others.
Maybe I'm old-fashioned but I keep finding it strange that electronic developments have happened worldwide at lightning speed while basic needs such as decent housing and affordable medical care for everyone remain a terrible problem (and of course not only in India).

These pictures do not show the best of India but also this is the world we live in.

Visiting Dharavi is a lesson in humility, a reflection on and an encouragement to put into perspective the concerns that we face in our own lives and above all a meeting with very friendly people.

Information from Wikipedia, the LP-guide and the man who guided me in Dharavi.

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4529 W: 17 N: 10747] (43800)
  • Genre: People
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2017-12-26
  • Categories: Daily Life
  • Exposure: 30 seconds
  • Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
  • Date Submitted: 2018-03-05 23:07
Viewed: 779
Points: 56
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Additional Photos by Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4529 W: 17 N: 10747] (43800)
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