Slum dwellers living, working and playing

Trip Start Jun 08, 2012
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Trip End Jun 11, 2012


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Flag of India  , Mahārāshtra,
Sunday, June 10, 2012

My guide was a university science student who has spent his whole life living here. The conditions are horrible, but normal life goes on, cramped beyond belief: Homes, shops, businesses, food, animals, kids...it's a 1 million people in a semi-self-sustained mini-economy.

It's hard to believe how many people live this way, and they seem to have no way to escape this difficult way of life. The level of poverty is shocking. To see so many entrepreneurs and workers, doing everything from laundry to recycling to engine repair to turning a live chicken into 4 sold pieces in 10 seconds, was surprising and amazing. Everyone was busy working or running errands or helping someone get something done. It's filthy, stinky, congested and smoky, but everyone just went about their way.

Peeking into "homes" was the most shocking and interesting, with little more than a small, bare room with just a few things inside to help give the families some comfort (maybe a chair, a table, a 1-burner stove, maybe even a TV) but the lack of space or privacy. Most people at home were just sitting or squatting on the cement floor, waiting for something to happen, or watching babies grow.

Check out all the pictures, and it's worth seeing them in the larger slideshow to get the details.

If you have the chance, it's really worth seeing this place for yourself: Be The Local (www.bethelocaltoursandtravels.com) provided my guide, with an easy meeting place at the adjacent train station.
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