The slum in Dharvi gives a general impression of a highly poor quality of life, a place where those who dwell within are unable to succeed past the limited microeconomic system in place within the slum, be this trade of pottery, a key trade1, or that of a more illegal nature – alike that of drug trade and prostitution. Conditions within the slum are of an extremely poor nature, the high population density alone a major issue, with over one million inhabitants living in the cramped five hundred and fifty acre sprawl of built upon land.
Living in brick and tin shanty’s those who live within the area can expect to be vulnerable to variable and often violent weather, with the structural support of their weak established housing being tested and frequently failing, laying out those within to the elements. This alone leads to many prominent issues, be it that of quickly contracting illness due to weakened immune systems from the wet environment or developing sanitary illness such as the deadly trench foot- caused by consistent ground water and a poor level of hygiene
People within the slum are subject to the typical quality of life that one who resides in any slum world over will experience, apart from perhaps one key element to the Dharavi slum that differs from many others; the large number of inner slum jobs. There is a strong industry of plastic recycling, leather tanning and pottery within the slum itself, with jobs in any of these sectors being available consistently. However he who works in these areas earns little money, with the average worker’s pay being only that of two dollars per day.
This low income is not due to the worker being taken advantage of however, it is due primarily to the western world’s exploitation of cheap goods. Within the slum population continually grows due to its inhabitants being without education and knowledge of contraception, nor is any available to them – this also brings about the issue of heightened overcrowding, along with a high percentage of the population being taken ill and becoming carriers of sexually transmitted diseases.
However the above situation is becoming one of few in the world to be actively changed by both the Indian government and private developers. Named the Dharavi Re-Development Project it is a two and a half billion dollar project to improve the lives of slum dwellers and recuperate the billions of dollars’ worth of land inhabited by the social and economic undesirables. Under the plan developers will build a two hundred and twenty five square ft. partment per each registered family within the Dharavi slum, 87,000 in total.
The scheme allows for families to reside in a structurally safe building, equipped with efficient sanitation. Along with this the Indian government have agreed the provision of schooling and other public services we in MEDC’s take for granted. 1 Research shows that the pottery and leather tanning industry within the Dhavari slum alone contributes to the tune of $1billion USD to the Indian economy.