Dharavi is one of the biggest slum areas in the world. An estimate of 1 million people live in this slum in Mumbai which is spread across an areas of over 500 acres. The slums were established in 1882 during the British era due to the overpopulation of the city with one too many industries being started in Bombay.
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In the initial years, Dharavi was predominantly occupied by the Koli community which has slowly changed in time, giving rise to various industries function within Dharavi alone. From the famous Kumbharwada (potters’ town), the tanneries and leather factories and textile industries, Dharavi exports products all around the world with a turn over of close to 500 USD.
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Though Dharavi is a closely knit community, it has gained popularity in the recent decades. With novelists like Gregory David Roberts who mentioned Dharavi in his book Shantaram, to film makers like Danny Boyle whose Academy Award winning movie, Slumdog Millionaire revolved around Dharavi, this slum area in Mumbai has gained a significant amount of tourist popularity. There are hundreds of tour guides in and around the area who take you through the depths of Dharavi, explaining how this world within another functions; an experience worth the buck!
Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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