Today, you will be taken on a guided tour of the Dharavi slums –made famous in the movie Slumdog Millionaire, but a thriving society and economic center in its right.
Dharavi – An Entrepreneurs Entourage is a tour designed to show you the world of Dharavi –The industry, the people and their way of life.
The minds behind the greatest business ideas in the city are not found in big corporate boardrooms but inside tiny 100 so. Ft. homes. The epicenter of Mumbai’s dizzying economic growth doesn’t lie behind glass facades of skyscrapers but in a run-down neighborhood of Mumbai. The people of this community might not be your average suit-clad businesspeople, but are owners of multi-million dollar companies. These are the people of Dharavi –One of Asia’s largest slums.
In spite of the all the grunginess and squalor, Dharavi is the most bustling part of Mumbai. A former fishing village, Dharavi has over the years become the prime contributor to the GDP of Mumbai. Today, it generates revenue of almost a billion US Dollars annually, with the variable business ventures that people have started.
As history has it, Dharavi was a fishing village, with the kolis, or the fisher folks, as its main inhabitants. Due to the construction of a dam, the Dharavi creek dried up, making the fisher folk move to wetter pastures and paving the way for new settlements to come in. The Potters came in from Saurashtra; Muslim Tanners came from Tamil Nadu to start the famous and lucrative leather industry. The artisans of Uttar Pradesh came in and set up embroidery industries and bakers from South set up sweet and savory shops.
Other than the industries as mentioned above, you will also tour the cardboard industries, the recycle industry, the Papadam industry and finally take a walk down the winding route through the narrow residential areas –Truly utilitarian it terms architecture. The guides are the local folk for whom Dharavi has been home since childhood. Contrary to popular belief, they are educated, working, speak impeccable English and more importantly, are very happy.
We assure you, after the tour, you won’t call Dharavi a slum, but a land of opportunity.