SLUMGODS

 

Widely known as Asia's biggest slum, and famed for providing the backdrop for a certain Oscar winnig 'Slumdog Millionaire', 'Dharavi' has become one of Mumbai's most infamous neighbourhoods.

 

 But asides from some dis-jointed claims to fame, this so-called 'slum' provides an invaluable service for the people of India's ever- shinning 'Maximum City'. At the edge of one of the area's vast neighborhoods, built on top of one extremity of a now destroyed giant pipeline that extended through open marshland straight into one of the city's most wealthy and up and coming suburbs, is a place known as 'Sector 13',  an area thats main function is as the country's largest recycling centers. 

 

Having built themselves around the constant and  flow of waste from around the city, the makeshift independent recycling industry here provides a reliable source of income for people in the area, many of which are children, working, living and playing in some of the city's most difficult conditions, with failing to be recognized and supported by local government, in denial  of clear breaches human rights.

 

But between the harshness and chaos ,for many of the kids and their families, the pipeline is also a place called home. Unlike most areas in Mumbai, the local residents here come from all over the country, mixing faiths and customs in relative harmony, managed by an underlining sense of community, which like many other 'slums' in the city ,remains under the constant threat of being demolished. 

 

 This is an insight into the lives of those who grow up here and how they ultimately remind us that while ideas of childhood may differ from place to place, its essence remains the same,  bringing a lightness of being and helping to maintain an open hearted sense of community, amidst the brutal reality of everyday life.