For the past two years, I have had the privilege of working in Dharavi: the heart of Mumbai, its center of small scale enterprise, and “one of the largest ‘slums’ in Asia”. Dharavi is an incredibly unique area that outsiders rarely get the opportunity to work in and learn from for such an extended period of time. It is an organically built neighborhood comprised of over 80 different communities that was born out of necessity and now houses up to one million people (who speak over 30 languages and follow six religions) and 15,000 small scale industries. Continue reading What I Learned From Two Years in Dharavi: Reflections From Our Former Marketing Director, Nick
Your average Mumbaikar might wonder why Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slums, has survived, slap bang in the middle of India’s burgeoning financial capital, for so long. As the city has grown and expanded, Dharavi has come to occupy a prime piece of real estate. Why not bulldoze it down and start again?
What people across Mumbai might not know is the way that the slum is influencing their lives; how the million people and over ten thousand businesses Dharavi is home to are a vital part of the Maximum City, rather than a blight upon it. Continue reading How Dharavi Makes A Difference: Eight Surprising Facts About Mumbai’s Largest Slum
Chris Way, co-founder of Reality Tours, takes us through his work with Smokey Tours in Manila and compares it with the challenges he faced in Dharavi.
I have been acting as a Consultant for Smokey Tours since March 2013, when I visited Manila for the first time. Juliette Kwee, from the Netherlands, who was working as a missionary for a Manila based NGO working in the slums, saw the potential of providing slum tours in the area. The benefits that she saw were the obvious ones- employment opportunities for the tour leaders, tour receipts being used directly to help the people in the area, but also, she wanted to be a connecting agent between visitors wanting to help out and organisations doing work in the slums. Continue reading From Dharavi To Smokey Mountain: What It Takes To Run A Responsible Tour Company
Chris, a university student from the United States, shares with us what he took away from his visit to Dharavi.
This past May, I made my first trip to India. My mother and I have been traveling internationally every summer for the last several years, but had only recently set our sights on the second-most populous country on Earth. Having stayed mostly within Europe on prior trips, we were looking for something a little farther out of our comfort zone, something more exotic. We were feeling adventurous, and India was more than up to the challenge.
“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”