Dharavi Reality Tour
I went for the Dharavi Tour on Saturday with Dhruti and her colleague – The new trend in reality tours compared to the usual Bombay Darshan Tours.
The Dharavi Tour has become quite a hit after Lonely Planet recommended it and also thanks to Slumdog Millionaire.
I was asked by the Tour Guide Sunil, why as an Indian and Bombayite, I was interested in the Tour, I had a few reasons :-
a) I wanted to check the 665 million US$ Small Scale Industry.
b) I wanted to check if the tour guys were portraying Bombay and India correctly or we they marketing poverty and exploiting the foreigners.
c) My Dad had lived in Dharavi for a while when he came to Bombay 40 years ago.
Something I liked and disliked was that Photography was not allowed, I was carrying my Camera and couldn’t click, but then I respect the tour guides view that Photography would lead to Poverty Marketing and all other kinds of exploitation and issues.
Industries and Stuff shown on the Dharavi Tour
- Plastic Recycling Unit
- Kumbharwada : Clay pots & Pottery units
- Embroidery and Tailoring Unit.
- Leather Tanning
- Pappad making
- Soap making Unit
- NGO School
The tour is safe and people are very friendly, but one needs to watch out for narrow alleys, pipes and wires hitting your head, open gutters and at times shit.
The sad part is that even though people of all religions work together they live separately in their own Ghetto’s (Muslim area, Tamil area, Kumbharwada – Gujarati Area, Maharashtrian area etc), can’t blame them the ghosts of ’92 riots might be still haunting them.
Sunil – The Guide
The tour is conducted by Reality Tours, they charge 400 bucks per person, a part of the proceeds go to the NGO School they manage.
Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharavi