Posts Tagged ‘slum’

Dharavi slum, Mumbai

On our first day in Mumbai, we joined a small group of other people from the cruise on an organized excursion. The group was made up of staff from the ship and other travelers with open minds. This was no regular overpriced cruise ship excursion; one of the guest relations officers that we’d made friends with had organized a tour of the Dharavi slum through a Non-Government Organization (NGO) called Reality Tours, and she invited us to come along. Dharavi slum is supposed to be Asia’s biggest slum, but depending on who we asked we heard varying information on that. Our guide told us that over one million people live there, and someone else said fifty thousand. On first hearing about it, we were a little apprehensive that taking a “tour of the slums” was simply putting the lives of these poverty-stricken people on show for tourists. But we read a little more about the NGO, and learned that 80% of their profits from the tours went to funding a computer learning centre and a kindergarten in the slum community. We thought it would be an experience worth having, not for enjoyment’s sake, but for the sake of learning more about the lives of the people here. Five of us went in a car with a driver and an english-speaking guide, and after driving past some of the city’s major attractions, we parked at the edge of Dharavi and got out of the car.