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Posts Tagged ‘Dharavi’

dharavi1Three times in the past week, I’ve unexpectedly been a participant in conversations regarding Mumbai’s hottest new tourist spot: Dharavi. In case any of you missed the Slumdog Millionaire bus (er, bulldozer?), Dharavi has the dubious honor of being Asia’s largest slum. It houses upwards of 1 million people over a 175 hectare expanse of marshy land in the northern part of the city. First-time international visitors to Mumbai may be surprised, upon descent of their aircraft, to see the runway nestled against a sea of seemingly makeshift blue tarp and corrugated metal. Yup, that’s Dharavi.

Eight Academy awards and several Vogue cover shoots later, Mumbai has entered something of a post-Slumdog era. Local newspapers have always covered Dharavi, but now they actually take the trouble to talk to residents. International DJ’s are keen on using the area’s vivid neighborhoods as backdrops for their sickest new parties. And of course, slum tourism is shooting up faster than Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting.

Note: I must confess that I have not yet been on a tour of Dharavi, so my opinions here are based primarily on hearsay. Then again, I’ve worked as a consultant for over two years, so I’m quite accustomed to this :) (more…)

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