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New Year Resolution for 2008: Swim faster, Run longer, maybe return to cycling.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dharavi Dreaming

If a picture speaks a thousand words, then perhaps the smell of Dharavi would tell the entire story. No amount of words and photos can express the level of filth and uncontrolled living conditions in Asia's (2nd?) largest slum.
Dhobies (laundrymen) stand barefoot and do their laundry in pools of wastewater outflow.
Slums and shanties are built dangerously below high-tension power cables and alongside busy railway tracks. The dhobies dry their laundry by laying the large pieces of cloth next to the tracks - the only place that is almost void of every imaginable type of trash.
The ubiquitous old-fashioned taxi cabs that ply Mumbai are sometimes decorated. In a predominant Hindoo society, some cab drivers also have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Dharavi is always busy with scores of people. I'm told the majority come from al parts of India seeking work and 'a better life' in Mumbai. It's terrible, yet the colours of Dharavi portray the spirit of India.
And barebodied and barefooted children roam the streets playing with their makeshift toys. Funny how they did not beg from us, perhaps they're not used to foreigners in the area. They pee and shit everywhere, yes... even the adults. Yet they are a happy bunch.
And that's why it'll be a challenge for us urban planners in relocating them. That's only part of the story......

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