Martina Spies's blog

Dharavi: a settlement, not a slum

The picture unfortunately painted in most of our minds of Dharavi, which covers some 175 hectares in the heart of Mumbai, is that of an overcrowded, densely packed, filthy slum. The more time I spend in Dharavi, however, the more I realize what a misnomer it is to label Dharavi as a slum. Don't get me wrong: there is a significant lack of proper sanitation, ventilation, and light in Dharavi, and during the monsoon, the residents have to deal with flash floods entering their homes and are restricted in their activities. However, there's more to the story. Learn more.