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Stop At: Dharavi, Mumbai India
Mumbai – one of the world’s most populous cities, is home to Bollywood celebrities, skyscrapers, the queen drive, the heritage monuments and the ever energetic crowds. But the other side of the coin, the other part of Mumbai remains unexplored and less ventured. This is a unique tour that lets you in on the secrets of Dharavi, Mumbai’s impoverished world which is in a way, the heart of this thriving city.
Dharavi is the slum area of Mumbai, the largest in Asia and the one featured in the Oscar-winning movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. With a multitude of tin hutments, the small-scale industries and an unbelievable amount of population in its cramped spaces, this world is a bucketful of surprises ready to strike you with wonder and awe. Delve into the lives and livelihood of the slums with their residents themselves as your guide.
This two and a half hour tour takes you through the key units of the slum with an enlightening narrative on each. Visit Mumbai’s biggest recycling centre, the dedicated setup that strives to keep the city fresh. Marvel at the number of people living here, as you walk along their humble abodes that are stacked beside one another like boxes on a rack. The small-scale industries are the prime source of living of the folks here, so you may find yourselves in front of local bakeries and the poppadom making micro-industry of Dharavi. Watch the local Dharavi women roll, flatten and dry the poppadom dough on upturned baskets, which then becomes your crispy fried delicacy that accompanies every regular Indian meal.
Further along, you will come across their other small-scale activities like soap making, leather tanning, embroidery and more. Along the course, you will be taken to the pottery colony of Kumbharwada, where the scent of fresh clay engulfs you even before you see the immense number of products that are displayed on the streets. A close community of potters live here making pots and other clay products of all sizes and shapes for every festival or occasion in Mumbai.
This quarter-day on-foot experience through the slum-city abolishes all preconceived notions of it. The unity in diversity is apparent in the beautiful sight of temples, mosques and churches standing side by side here. This walk clarifies the fact that Dharavi is more than just a historic place of Mumbai’s poverty. The aspirations and dreams that run high here along with the hard work is an eye-opener.
Duration: 2 minutes