Farewell to Dharavi slum

Asia’s largest slum, Dharavi, lies on prime property right in the middle of India’s financial capital, Mumbai (Bombay). It is home to more than a million people. Many are second-generation residents, whose parents moved in years ago. A city within a city, it is one unending stretch of narrow dirty lanes, open sewers and cramped huts. In a city where house rents are among the highest in the world, Dharavi provides a cheap and affordable option to those who move to Mumbai to earn their living. As Dharavi is located between Mumbai’s two main suburban rail lines, most people find it convenient for work. Dharavi also has a large number of thriving small-scale industries that produce embroidered garments, export quality leather goods, pottery and plastic. Most of these products are made in tiny manufacturing units spread across the slum and are sold in domestic as well as international markets. The annual turnover of business here is estimated to be more than $650m (£350m) a year.

The state government has plans to redevelop Dharavi and transform it into a modern township, complete with proper housing and shopping complexes, hospitals and schools.

  • this is really good and different….unlike other photographs of India’s slums which usually have a yellowish tint…..
    and the Dharavi portrayed here is certainly different from the one i saw in ‘Slumdog Millionaire’…..

  • this is really good and different….unlike other photographs of India’s slums which usually have a yellowish tint…..
    and the Dharavi portrayed here is certainly different from the one i saw in ‘Slumdog Millionaire’…..

  • this is really good and different….unlike other photographs of India’s slums which usually have a yellowish tint…..
    and the Dharavi portrayed here is certainly different from the one i saw in ‘Slumdog Millionaire’…..

  • Those were very touching. A wonderful job. thnx for sharing.

  • Those were very touching. A wonderful job. thnx for sharing.

  • Those were very touching. A wonderful job. thnx for sharing.

  • Adam Bennett

    Beautiful work, photographs 16 and 17 are amazing.
    I plan to go to Dharavi next year, how safe is it to conduct photography there?
    I’d appreciate if you could inform me so I can make a sensible decision!

    Thanks

    • @Adam: Dharavi is an incredible place. nothing to be afraid of. be cool be friendly, and people will respond. I think it is an important stop when you come to India. I’d recommend it to anyone! actually thought of taking tours there!

  • Adam Bennett

    Beautiful work, photographs 16 and 17 are amazing.
    I plan to go to Dharavi next year, how safe is it to conduct photography there?
    I’d appreciate if you could inform me so I can make a sensible decision!

    Thanks

  • Adam Bennett

    Beautiful work, photographs 16 and 17 are amazing.
    I plan to go to Dharavi next year, how safe is it to conduct photography there?
    I’d appreciate if you could inform me so I can make a sensible decision!

    Thanks

    • @Adam: Dharavi is an incredible place. nothing to be afraid of. be cool be friendly, and people will respond. I think it is an important stop when you come to India. I’d recommend it to anyone! actually thought of taking tours there!

  • maheen

    Hello sephi,
    Ive been to Mumbai several times – but this time I wanted to shoot Dharavi. I was totally discouraged by everyone who told me Dharavi resident’s has become hostile since the release of Slumdog. How true is this? Are there any tours like they have in Rio, Brazil?

    Thanks

    • Maheen, it’s been a long time since I was in Dharavi in 2007. I have no idea how things are there if you come to shoot. I suggest to keep an open mind and a respectful approach to the people that live there. I usually find that a smile can get you through a lot. Spend time there and don’t simply come and wave a camera at people’s faces. I think you’ll be fine. I have no idea about photo tours in Dharavi but I think it is actually not such a bad idea 🙂

    • Maheen, it’s been a long time since I was in Dharavi in 2007. I have no idea how things are there if you come to shoot. I suggest to keep an open mind and a respectful approach to the people that live there. I usually find that a smile can get you through a lot. Spend time there and don’t simply come and wave a camera at people’s faces. I think you’ll be fine.
      I have no idea about photo tours in Dharavi but I think it is actually not such a bad idea 🙂

  • maheen

    Hello sephi,
    Ive been to Mumbai several times – but this time I wanted to shoot Dharavi. I was totally discouraged by everyone who told me Dharavi resident's has become hostile since the release of Slumdog. How true is this? Are there any tours like they have in Rio, Brazil?

    Thanks

  • Maheen, it's been a long time since I was in Dharavi in 2007. I have no idea how things are there if you come to shoot. I suggest to keep an open mind and a respectful approach to the people that live there. I usually find that a smile can get you through a lot. Spend time there and don't simply come and wave a camera at people's faces. I think you'll be fine. I have no idea about photo tours in Dharavi but I think it is actually not such a bad idea 🙂

  • Maheen, it's been a long time since I was in Dharavi in 2007. I have no idea how things are there if you come to shoot. I suggest to keep an open mind and a respectful approach to the people that live there. I usually find that a smile can get you through a lot. Spend time there and don't simply come and wave a camera at people's faces. I think you'll be fine. I have no idea about photo tours in Dharavi but I think it is actually not such a bad idea 🙂

  • Maheen, it's been a long time since I was in Dharavi in 2007. I have no idea how things are there if you come to shoot. I suggest to keep an open mind and a respectful approach to the people that live there. I usually find that a smile can get you through a lot. Spend time there and don't simply come and wave a camera at people's faces. I think you'll be fine.
    I have no idea about photo tours in Dharavi but I think it is actually not such a bad idea 🙂

  • Maheen, it's been a long time since I was in Dharavi in 2007. I have no idea how things are there if you come to shoot. I suggest to keep an open mind and a respectful approach to the people that live there. I usually find that a smile can get you through a lot. Spend time there and don't simply come and wave a camera at people's faces. I think you'll be fine.
    I have no idea about photo tours in Dharavi but I think it is actually not such a bad idea 🙂

  • Harryschuitemaker

    Very impressive gallery. Makes me wonder why people in Holland allways have something to grumble about. Even in Dharavi you see some people smile

  • Harryschuitemaker

    Very impressive gallery. Makes me wonder why people in Holland allways have something to grumble about. Even in Dharavi you see some people smile