Slum it in Mumbai and reveal a whole new world
Suggest to someone that part of their luxury travels should include a visit to the slums and one might expect a short reply.
As luxury travellers enjoying the finer fruits of this world, it’s easy to ignore the cogs that grind in the background that make it all happen.
This is never more apparent than in India and in particular, Mumbai; where the mechanics of day to day life are very near the surface and, for those who wish to look, very clear to see.
Nevertheless, if you want to put your travels – and life in general for that matter – into perspective, then we can but recommend a fascinating excursion into what is one of the greatest hives of industry you’ll ever experience.
Yes, its filthy, squalid, toxic, deprived and in terms of human existence – within its piled high tin shacks – deeply depressing but perversely it’s also one of the most uplifting experiences you might encounter.
Consider that every discarded tool, bicycle, washing machine, electrical flex, plastic bottle, tin can, air conditioning system, nut, bolt, pipe and piece of clothing will find its way back into the smallest chipping, component part or element and thereafter be reborn into a shiny new product somewhere in the world and you start to realise what a wonder of transformation plays out every day of the year in Mumbai.
We currently recycle circa 24% of all waste in the UK whereas Mumbai recycles 80% – a lesson to us all and a more fitting counterbalance for our disposable society. It’s also strangely rewarding, if not a salve for our conscience, to see that absolutely nothing, of any description, goes to waste.
As you tour the different areas of the slum – each with its own speciality or discipline – it’s simply amazing that from such squalor comes such riches.
Although there are a number of slums in Mumbai – never more evident than when landing at the international airport, the population of Dharavi slum (more recently famous for its part in ‘Slumdog Millionaire’) exceeds 1.2 million; which means that 55% of Mumbai’s population live on 6% of the land Within this densely populated area, turnover from over 15,000 single room businesses exceeds £350m ($650m) per annum.
If your senses can withstand it we highly recommend a trip to the slums of Dharavi, accompanied tours of which can be organised either locally through your hotel or via your own tour operator.
In their own way the slums remind us to be ever grateful for our ability to enjoy the finer things of life and serve as a constant reminder that without this industry behind us very few of our luxuries would be possible anyway.
Through our charity ‘Patchwork Kids’ we support underprivileged children in both India and Africa – providing them with the clothing, equipment and tuition to enable them to enjoy a chance of formal education that otherwise they’d miss because of the poverty within which they live.
If you’re interested in learning more about Patchwork Kids then please follow the link below.
Why not download the TLC World guide brochure or give us a call today on 01202 030443, or simply click ‘enquire’ to submit your own personal itinerary request