Another side of Mumbai

by Sandy Ikeda

Because of their location, Dharavi’s residents have been locked for years in a tug of war with government officials who look hungrily at such choice land and dream their own dreams of reincarnation.  If the officials get their way, the slum will be demolished and reborn as a gleaming collection of high-rise apartments, office towers and manicured parks. Residents who arrived before 2000 would be re-housed elsewhere in Dharavi in small flats of 225 square feet – smaller than a suburban American garage – while an influx of richer folk and big companies would turn the area into one of Mumbai’s fashionable addresses.

But many who live here take fierce pride in a community that they and their families built, for some over several generations, with little help from the state. They refuse to be uprooted without a fight.

This is from an article published last September 8th in the Los Angeles Times called “Dharavi, India’s largest slum, eyed by Mumbai developers” about the ethnically and religiously diverse community in the heart of Mumbai (formerly Bombay), the site of terrible violence today. Continue reading