Situated between Mumbai’s Western and Central Railways lines, lies a big are called Dharavi. It is considered one of the largest slums in the world and the largest slum in Asia, a distinction that is perhaps nothing to be proud of. It’s overpopulated rooms and narrow lanes make Dharavi a claustrophobic person’s nightmare.
Some estimates of Dharavi’s population pit it to be about 1 million people. Most of the residents are people from across India who came to Mumbai looking for a livelihood. Around 60% of the population is Hindu, 33% are Muslim and 6% are Christian.
Dharavi was once a sparsely populated village of Koli fishermen; it was called Koliwadas. It was the growth of factories and tanneries in the region that led to workers moving to the area. For a long time, Dharavi grew on its own and now it presents a real challenge when authorities try to redevelop it.