I was set on visiting but conflicted about how best to do so. In my view, anyone who is reluctant to do so because they're worried about "poverty tourism" needs to examine their egos and false sense of superiority. Used tin drums were being renewed and repainted, leather was being processed, vessels were being spun on pottery wheels, small clay diyas were being shaped, and pappads were being rolled out (next time you dine at a restaurant in Mumbai, it's likely that the pappad you eat would've been made in Dharavi). The people in Dharavi are not ashamed of how they live, nor are they miserable. The movie has been referred to as an example of "poverty porn", one that encourages perverse western voyeurism and promotes slum tourism and volunteering. "It doesn't really exist anymore. They're divided into: "Dharavi has so many specialist industries because of the people moving here from different areas of India, and they bring their skills with them," Salman informed me. Textile fabrics, leather goods, and other items can all be purchased from small-scale Dharavi manufacturers at great prices. Dharavi Slum Tourism What’s is your expectation when you hear the word Dharavi. Itinerary. Tours of Dharavi in Mumbai, the largest slum in Asia, have grown in popularity in recent years -- but for a very good reason. Dharavi is Asia’s biggest slum occupying an area of 520 acres and holding a population of 7 million people. Mumbai Slum Tour Mumbai is the financial capital of India. No. On this tour, you'll explore the alleyways of makeshift homes and workshops, and meet the locals, learning how they live. Cost of a trip depends on the type of trip and the duration. "The residents have emotional attachment to their chawls. ", my guide, Salman, was shocked and not at all impressed when he found out. Our ethical and educational Dharavi slum tours give visitors a unique glimpse into everyday life for many Mumbaikars while breaking down the negative stereotypes associated with slums. He also left us alone to decide what we wanted. It also has a community to teach people various activities and its sponsor is an NGO . Everyone should go on a Dharavi tour and experience it for themselves. The tour progressed through other small-scale industries. Overview Learn the truth about what it's like to live and work in one of the world's largest slums, the Dharavi settlement in Mumbai, on this guided tour. Dharavi slum is the second largest slum in Asia and third largest in the world. "You live in Mumbai but have never been to Dharavi? Dharavi – rightly or wrongly – is one of Mumbai’s most famous areas, and for many visitors to the big city, a Dharavi slum tour is on the bucket list. They are friendly, welcoming, and dignified. On this slum tour, you will see a completely different side of the financial capital. It has a large number of thriving small-scale industries that produce Plastic Recycling, export quality leather goods, pottery, embroidered garments and many more. Our shortened Dharavi walking tour of 1.5 hours aims to give visitors an overview into life and work in Mumbai slums. Unlike many Indian shopkeepers, he knew not to pull out too many pieces, which would overwhelm and confuse us. These ones are recommended: Whichever tour you choose to take, make sure you bring money for shopping! More than a million people live in the slum area. The shortest trip would span for one hour and would cost around INR 500 to INR 1000, according to the service provider. Since we pass by areas of interest between Colaba and Dharavi, to get the most out of the private tour, it is best to start from Colaba, Fort, or Marine Drive. Sad because we don't have a chauffeur driven limousine? They're far too busy making the most of what they have, not dwelling on what they don't have. Tours of Dharavi in Mumbai, the largest slum in Asia, have grown in popularity in recent years -- but for a very good reason. Come and explore how this Asia's largest is having highest literacy in any slum among the world and run annual USD 2 Billion worth trade happen. We entered the Dharavi slum on the opposite side to where Pajam and I had tried a few hours earlier. Ain't that the truth! We booked this tour with two days notice and had very efficient communication with the team. Our guide this time was Javid. Dharavi Slum tours are very informative and can work wonders for all age group people. The Dharavi long tour is an excellent tour that allows you to understand the way of life of the people of the slum. He was having none of it though. Our 2.5 hour introduction to Dharavi aims to give visitors a much more nuanced understanding of life and work in Mumbai slums. I asked Salman about education in Dharavi. It makes them proud that foreigners come and take an interest in what they do, and even buy what they make.". "The slum even has 24 hour power," Salman said. One of the primary industries in Dharavi is recycling. It is one of the most densely populated area in the world. You will witness the older people busy with their work and children running around without any worries or sorrow. Salman explained the process of plastic recycling, as we watched the work going on. However, as Salman revealed to me, the truth is much more complicated. In fact, we don't even know what we're missing. The goal of Reality Tours is to dispel the negative connotations of living and working in Dharavi . Our guide said that the word “slum” is a derogatory term that the Indian population does not like to use. It is exactly in the middle of this vibrant city with two suburban rail lines running on both sides. "He doesn't look like the boss but he is," he referred to the informally dressed topless man, who commenced laying out a range of beautiful fabrics before us. No. Dharavi Slum Tour Cost. ", No doubt, it's the distinctive sense of community that helps make Dharavi a cheerful place. The government wants to redevelop the area and build high-rise apartments, and they'll move the residents into these apartments. It's worth nothing that, apparently, there is less than 10% unemployment in Dharavi. Salam laughed. "The artists do appreciate the acknowledgement of their work. His grandparents migrated to Mumbai and he has lived in Dharavi all his life. a customer called out to us from the chai wala, as we exited the stairs at Mahim West railway station. Think of it this way. Look around. Slum of Mumbai is the largest in Asia. After all, residents will be getting free apartments as part of the deal. Mumbai city and Dharavi slum tour. Dharavi slum tour with a professional tour operator in Mumbai. This plastic is sold to brokers by the kilo, before being shipped back to Dharavi for processing. ", he implored me. The Dharavi Slum Tour is more flexible as well to what you want to see. He took us around what is almost like a city within the city and enabled us to see how people live, work and play here. Also, only people who have been living in Dharavi from before the year 2000 are eligible to get an apartment.". What You Need to Know, The Top Parks in Mumbai for Nature and Heritage, My Experience of Staying in a Remote Iban Longhouse in Borneo, I Explored Odisha, India Through Royal Homestays, Here's Why You Should Too, Mumbai Dharavi Slum Tours: Options and Why Go on One. Are we sad because we can't afford a private jet? It is exactly in the middle of this vibrant city with two suburban rail lines running on both sides. Salman asked. Most of us don't have the riches to afford a private jet and we often travel on public transport. Explore Dharavi slum by walking in our tour. Slumdog Millionaire is a little different in reality! "It's important for everyone to come to Dharavi and see how it functions, see the industry going on here. Our second tour was of the Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia. Salman took us through the narrow lanes of one residential part of the slum -- lanes so narrow that I struggled to walk properly and had to crouch down to avoid hitting my head. After that, they're taken and rolled into pallets, and sent to the plastic manufacturers. My boss, the tour company owner, told me that I'll only want something else after a while.". Next, they're crushed and made into small pieces. Dinesh was an excellent guide, his English is impeccable and he is extremely knowledgeable. You can also add a lunch with a local family after the morning tour. Sharell Cook lives in Mumbai full-time and has been writing about India travel for TripSavvy since 2008. "The government has been looking after it. The Dharavi Slum Tour with Reality Tours The Hundred Million Dollar Businesses. Dharavi Slum Tour. As we walked, Salman continued to explain the importance of Dharavi in the context of Mumbai. As I was looking at the diyas, a giggling group of small girls came over to say hello and talk to us. Nowadays you'll find numerous tour companies in Mumbai that offer Dharavi slum tours. "Now, everyone is taking an interest in Dharavi's infrastructure and facilities. Post slumdog millionaire fame, tour companies have been quick to cash in on the action, and tours … Even if you wish to explore more and delve into experiences, with niche years of experiences we are able to provide you with clean water, accommodations, local food and more. Sign Me Up. But this was not the only jamming jeopardy he was exposed to. What's more, most of the tours are conducted by Dharavi residents themselves. We have taken this Slum for your tour to break the stereotypical tendency and “think out of the box” by visiting the area which is expanded in kilometres. "There are 60 municipality schools, four secondary schools, and 13 private schools in Dharavi. Voyeuristic poverty tourism? If you are choosing group tours (up to 6 people), it would cost INR 2000 per head for two hour to three hour trip. He's also employed as a Dharavi tour guide by Be The Local Tours and Travel. Passing through this community of up to 1 million people, this tour will redefine what a slum is and will open your eyes to the reality of one of the world’ largest slums. To further dispel any notion of poverty stricken people miserable in squalor, Salman began quoting astonishing numbers to me. Visit Dharavi, take in the street art and see why it is heart of small-scale industry in Mumbai! They've become politicians so what they do is legal now.". They were making export quality fabrics -- and due to overwhelming demand, it was possible to buy them! There were exposed wires everywhere. Visit Dharavi slum with a local guide on a 3-hour, tour of the impoverished Mumbai neighborhood that’s considered one of the world’s largest slums. What I could see were laughing children running through the lanes and playing cricket, and people diligently working in all types of small-scale industries. Likewise, the residents of Dharavi are not feeling depressed because they don't have the same standard of living as us. Undoubtedly, this small slum tour will change the way you think about the Dharavi slum in Mumbai. Vacationer381057, Jan 2019. Salman chatted to us some more before departing. Take an ethical walking tour of the Dharavi slum on this unique exploration in Mumbai. "Welcome to Dharavi!" While photography isn't allowed on the Dharavi tour, occasionally Salman gave us the opportunity to take pictures. It was mentioned that upon first breaking ground in the whale’s back. Take a guided tour of the largest slum in the World and get to know about various unique things in this part of the city. Dharavi Slum Tour is Walking Tour with Tour Guide Visit the recycling area of the slum where the old plastics and computers come from around the world.Furthermore, taste the freshly baked biscuits at a bakery and see how artisans craft beautiful clay pots. Private Slumdog Millionaire Tour in Dharavi with Slum Visit (From US$21.46) Walking Tour of Famous Dharavi Slum (From US$21.46) Dharavi Small-Group Mumbai - Walking Tour with Guide and Optional Add-ons (From US$25.65) Small-Group Walking Tour of Dharavi Slum in Mumbai (From US$10.00) See all Dharavi experiences on Tripadvisor Groups of housewives sat around chatting to each other, while their children played. Salman called the "boss man" over. Dharavi slum tour, Mumbai. "I've never really had any reason to visit," I tried to defend myself. This tour is designed to satisfy the curiosity of people having to do the most of a short stay in Mumbai. Population density is more than 277,000 per sqkm. Not only will you get additional insight into Dharavi, but you’ll provide a local family with some extra income! Then, they're washed and dried on the roof tops. Known to many as ‘one of the largest slums in Asia’, we prefer to think of Dharavi as Mumbai’s beating heart. I have hinted that I would often jerk poor Queequeg from between the whale and the ship. Around one million people live there, and at about 280,000 people per square kilometer, it’s one of the most densely populated areas on earth. She must've only been aged around six or seven, but already she was dreaming big. Gawking at the misery of the underprivileged? Besides that, Dharavi has plenty of specialist industries because people coming from different parts of India bring in their skills along. Dabbawala, Dhobi Ghat & Dharavi slum Tour with Local Train Ride. the-slum. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. It's simply not part of our existence, our standard of living. "Most industries are self sufficient, but they also support each other. They show what people are … But, it was clean, and huge drums of fresh drinking water stood at the entrance to people's homes. Early each morning, residents (usually women) leave their homes and tour the city streets, picking up discarded plastic. On this tour, you'll explore the alleyways of makeshift homes and workshops, and meet the locals, learning how they live. Salman, whose name is actually Salman Khan (yes, the same as the Bollywood actor, who not surprisingly is very popular in Salman's household), is a proud Dharavi local. The slum we visited is called Dharavi. These tours aim to dispel any notions that people may have of Dharavi being a place of misery, and are actually very inspiring. There are indeed important life lessons to be learned from visiting Dharavi. ", There's also great unity in the slum. It’s the largest slum in India with over a million inhabitants on about two square kilometers of land. It's well connected by both Mahim West railway station and the Eastern Express Highway. ", But what about the infamous slum Mafia? Testimonial. Private Slumdog Millionaire Tour in Dharavi with Slum Visit (From $21.46) Walking Tour of Famous Dharavi Slum (From $21.46) Dharavi Small-Group Mumbai - Walking Tour with Guide and Optional Add-ons (From $25.65) Small-Group Walking Tour of Dharavi Slum in Mumbai (From $10.00) See all Dharavi experiences on Tripadvisor This Dharavi slum tour provides a window into Mumbai's working neighborhood, and the area is best explored with a guide to gain a well-rounded view without getting lost. It didn’t take long until young boys stood next to us, laughing and taking not very discrete sneaky photos of us. Well, Dharavi is World’s largest slum with more than a million people living in the thatched huts. My friend and I got really excited once we reached the block-printing workshop. Without a doubt, it was an amazing, eye-opening, and POSITIVE experience. If this is your idea of a Dharavi slum tour, then you're severely mistaken. Then, there is the troublesome issue of what will happen to the small-scale industries, which will have to be moved out of the area. "I hope it's changed your thoughts about Dharavi?" The slum produces upwards of … If you want to experience the real-life of talented slum dwellers, you must take a Mumbai slum tour to Dharavi. 60,000 recycled products are made from them.". It wasn’t a pre-planned thing, we’d been looking at street food tour possibilities and saw there was an option to do a tour round the Dharavi Slum too. Perhaps not what you'd expect, he confidently speaks flawless English and is studying Science at college. ", Without understanding Dharavi, you could easily mistake this for a good thing. While in Mumbai we decided to do a slum tour. We went with Be the Local Tours based on two facts: 1. They show what people are capable of achieving despite adverse conditions. According to our guide, Jitu, who grew up in Dharavi, there are about 2000 slum areas in Mumbai, holding about 42% of Mumbai’s population. We must now retrace our way a little. Sad because we don't live in a 12 bedroom mansion? Dharavi slum tour. In Dharavi, there are a total of 4,902 production units bringing in an annual income of around $1 billion. In fact, the goods are manufactured in very small units that are spread all across the slum.They are not only sold in domestic markets but in international markets as well. It houses about one million of Mumbai’s inhabitants and its industries have an annual turnover of approximately US$ 665 million. These tours aim to dispel any notions that people may have of Dharavi being a place of misery, and are actually very inspiring. "28 temples, 11 mosques, six churches, and 24 Islamic education centers", Salman informed me. When you travel through the slum, you will see people doing various kinds of activities, such as recycling, pottery-making, baking and much more. There are also plenty of small-scale industries in Dharavi that manufacture plastic goods, embroidered clothes, soap, etc. And, talking fluently in English. A tour through the slum area is an important tourist activity in Mumbai. It was fascinating to see how they operated. Dharavi slums in Mumbai the DHARAVI it’s one of the most vibrant centers for extreme entrepreneurship on our Planet. It is also considered to be the heart of many small scale industries. "Around 80% of children are going to school now. Apparently famous it was a ‘top thing to do in Mumbai’ and we decided to go for it. Follow a guide through Dharavi’s narrow alleyways, where you’re introduced to local residents and their small-scale industries — recycling, ceramics, embroidery, soap making and more — all manufactured by innovative means. Plus, the government is going to give everyone 225-275 square foot apartments, regardless of how much space they already have. It’s a small 2-6 person group tour that costs just INR 460 (about USD 6.50). Meet my guide Dinesh, a Dharavi resident who gave me a fascinating insider’s look at life in the slum. Dharavi Slum, Mumbai. Despite misconceptions, the people who live in Dharavi runs businesses and participate in life to the fullest. And, there I was, about to embark on a two hour "slum tour" of Dharavi. While in Mumbai, toured the Dharavi slum, Mumbai’s largest slum, with Reality Tours. View Of Slum. "First, the plastics for recycling are grouped together according to color and quality. Have extra space in your suitcase? This is not a place where poor people are depressed. I went out on a half day trip around the City of Mumbai with Arpan from Bombay Walks in a local way. You can also add a lunch with a local family after the morning tour. As Be the Local Tours and Travel state on their website: Rather than poverty tourism, it's more accurate to think of Dharavi tours as community tourism. "It will be difficult for residents to have to travel to far-off, relocated work places," Salman lamented. The first part of the Dharavi tour took us through some of the small-scale industry workshops. Get personal insight into daily life in Dharavi by exploring with a local, and see how slum residents use innovation … "I want to explore the world with you," one declared. Mumbai heart keep Dharavi slums alive and to explore myths and realities about the slum tour let's experience this first hand by going and walking in the narrow lanes of Dharavi slum tour. Dharavi Slum Tour in Mumbai is a Unique Unforgettable Experience Tour, Dharavi Slum Tour is Walking Tour with Tour Guide, Dharavi Slum Tour will change the way you think about it. Then he reeled off more numbers to me. This Dharavi slum tour provides a window into Mumbai's working neighborhood, and the area is best explored with a guide to gain a well-rounded view without getting lost. Do you see any beggars? But, if you think I was indulging in any kind of poverty voyeurism, think again. To be totally honest, I envied them for this. Dharavi slum Tour Private 46 The Dharavi Slum in Mumbai is one of the largest slums in Asia but it is more than a place of poverty. On tour with Mohammed, a native of Dharavi, you’ll see real life in the slums. Parents are recognizing the importance of education and learning English." Dharavi Slum Tour in Mumbai is a Unique Unforgettable Experience Tour Dharavi slum tour with a professional tour operator in Mumbai. Indeed, I could not. I went on this 3-hr Mumbai Dharavi slum walking tour which I booked through Klook. Yes, THAT slum, which rose to fame in the movie Slumdog Millionaire and angered many Indians for its portrayal of poverty. 80% of the profits from every tour are invested back into the community through the programs of our NGO, Reality Gives and most of our guides are from the community. All kinds of plastic items, from chai cups to pieces of old telephones, were being sorted through and processed by Dharavi residents. For example, the potters use scraps of cloth from the textile industries as fuel for their kilns. "My dream is to own an Audi but I know not to rely on that to make me happy. And, if you put aside notions of money and material wealth, they're actually richer than what we are because there's so much love and support among their community, they need never feel isolated, sad or lonely. Dharavi is Mumbai’s largest slum (and the third-largest in the world) made famous by the film Slumdog Millionaire. One Week in Mumbai: The Perfect Itinerary, 15 Best Mumbai Tours to Really Get to Know the City, 48 Hours in Mumbai: The Perfect Itinerary, Immerse Yourself in India on These Insightful Walking Tours, Holland America Maasdam - Profile and Photo Tour, Egypt Tours: Pros, Cons and Recommendation, What to Pack Depends on When and Where you Go in Southeast Asia, How to Experience Mumbai's Epic Ganesh Festival, Is it Safe to Travel to Kashmir? I had just entered what is often labeled as Asia's largest slum. Well, Dharavi is World’s largest slum with more than a million people living in the thatched huts. Too soon, the two hours of the tour were up. But don’t consider this slum tour as poverty tourism as this place has become very popular for good reasons.Besides that,  you will see how people in Dharavi slum can achieve greater things in spite of living in adverse conditions. 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