In Integrity

Last time, we visited Dharavi, one of Mumbai’s slum, which is featured in the famous movie Slumdog Millionaire (Triệu phú khu ổ chuột).

It is estimated that there are about 1 million people living in 2 square kilometres in Dharavi, making it the second largest slum in Asia (after the one in Pakistan) and the third largest in the world. Originally, it was a mangrove swamp before becoming a waste-dumping ground. During the British colonial period, people came here for work, mostly from remote or rural areas. The main industries are leather, textile, pottery, and recycling. The ‘waste-dumping ground’ is keeping the city of Mumbai clean while the pollution from the industries is seriously damaging the health of the workers. Currently, sanitation and infectious diseases are of great concern.

We asked whether they need something. To which they responded, “We are fine with our lives, please take care of our children. Give them food and let them go to school”.

They were saying all this while their hands were soaked in chemical liquids from cleaning the painting cans for recycling. Meanwhile, as their lungs were breathing in tons of smoke from the nearby factories and they were living in 10m2 two-storey houses of four people with open sewage running past the doors. “It is our home. And we work to earn a living without begging or pleading”.

<Inside the Dharavi, it is strictly forbidden to take the pictures, especially of the people. This one was taken outside and before the entrance to Dharavi.>

Mumbai, India, 02 Oct 2017