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Mumbai Part 2 // Welcome to the Slums of Dharavi

When my travel Agent Lisa asked me if i would be interested in any guided tours in Mumbai i told her that i didn't really want to be one of 10 people walking behind un umbrella guy and taking pictures of people constantly asking for when we would take a lunch break.
She then asked me what i would want to do and see in Mumbai and i said, well i would want to go to Dharavi and see the slums and also i would want to see the huge piles of Garbage where people actually live.

She told me about a tour by REALITY GIVES  through the Dharavi Slums for maximum 5 People and very detailed information on how to behave during the tour with a strict no picture policy. i immediately booked it.

After finding my group at Churchgate Station and having to wait a little for our guide we took the train right to where the slums started.

Our Guide Bipin and Antony where charming and made sure we had a potty break just before,
As we walked over the bridge and gathered for a quick update on what we would be seeing we went on our way to the first stop. A production where they recycle  plastic.

There are 5 Big Businesses in the Slums.

1. Plastic
2. Textile 
3. Leather
4. Food.
5. Pottery

And when i say Businesses i mean actual profit making businesses. 
The Owners of these Businesses are often very wealthy and don't live in the slums anymore.
You would see fancy BMW cars pull up in the slums and Men would get out to check on everything (I write men because women are not allowed to work in about 99% of the cases).

because we all don't want to read a lot i will give you quick facts

Plastic production
- plastic is being collected by homeless people in all Mumbai (1kg of plastic = 150 to 200 rupee (1,50€ to 2,30€)

- The plastic production in Dharavi supplies ALL of India. EVERY plastic Part on cars, bikes, machines, etc is made in the Slums. fact!

- Cutlery, Water bottles and children toys are not allowed to be made from recycled plastic from the slums by law.
- People work without ANY protection. Toxic Gases and bad working conditions cause a lot of sicknesses. The Life exspactation for a worker is between 45 to 50 years.

- Garments are made here for 90 rupees a piece (about 1,10€ does not matter what kind of Garment)
- Resold for 1900 rupees a piece (26€) to wholes buyers

- The Slums deliver to ALL of India, New Zealand, Australia, USA and 

-The "Denim you buy on the markets of Colaba in Mumbai is not made from Cotton but made from recylced dyed and processed PLASTIC.
- We all know these shops in Vienna on Lerchenfelder Gürtel or Thaliastrasse. Their Denim is made in the slums on Mumbai from recycled plastic.
- Partly you get Orders from Levis as well!
- If you buy a pair of "Jeans" and it says made in India you can be almost 100% sure that this piece was made in a Slum.

- Animal skinnes are salted for preservation (imagine a farm smell just 1000 times more intense)
- sent to channai because dying the skinns is illigal in Mumbai (to much polution)
- send back to Dharavi for processing
- Leather bags sell fro 1300 Rupees a piece (17€)
- Minimum Orders are 30 pieces
Michael Kors, tommy hilfiger, pauls boutique, gucci bag lovers and consumers. 

I can guarantee you that YOUR bag was produced in the slums for 1300 indian rupee ( 17€ ) so hey! Happy shopping and building your lifestyle on the backs of poor workers in the slums of India.
- Its not made 100% in Italy or elsewhere. The Labels say so because my law they can claim this if 10% of the production is made in f.i. Italy (Logos, embellishments, etc)

- This the first Business that started in Dharavi in 1840

- Every piece is made by hand and unique

- Sizes range from small CHAI cups to Large water troughs

Facts about DHARAVI

- "build" in 1840 Dharavi is the olders and biggest Slum in all of India
- It is a legal slum
-Indian law says if you rent a place/house for longer then 11 years you become the owner of it.
- Dharavi is located 15min from the main Airport and if a "goldmine" for rich investors, companies and the government. But due to the law the people living in Dharavi have to give permission if ANY structural changes want to be made.

- There are (almost) no toilets in the slum. you have the choice to use a community toilet (waiting cues start a 6 a.m. for about 20 to 30 min) or you can use "open air conditioned toilets"

- there are few buildings built by the government but are to expensive for almost anyone

- rent is 3000 to 4000 rupees for about 15 to 20 square meters (220 square feet) this is a lot for people living in Dharavi who hopefully earn 150 to 200 rupees a day (on a good day) PLUS safety deposit of 20 000 Rupees (280€)

-  Nothing goes to waste in the slums, everything is being reused, old pieces of soap are melted together and made into "new" soap usable for cleaning dished and bedsheets.

- If Metal canisters can not be used anymore the are cut open, stretched and used for building roofs and walls for housing.

I want to thank Reality Gives for this opportunity to see the slums of Dharavi. I though i knew about the conditions there but it is something else if you see if face to face.
If any of my readers ever travel to Mumbai i can only recommend booking a tour with

80 % of what you spend goes directly to their programes!
What they do?
read it HERE 

pictures are all courtesy of reality gives!


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