- In 18th Century, Dharavi was an island inhabited by fishermen. When the swamp got filled fishing gradually stopped, and Dharavi slowly transformed into the gigantic urban space that it is now.
2. Dharavi is also regarded as the third largest slum of world after the slums of Mexico’s Neza-Chalco-Itza and Karachi’s Orangi. It lies between the two railway lines, the western and central railway. It is surrounded by Mahim, Bandra in west, Mithi river in north, Sion in south, and Matunga in east. The land is spread over an area of 535 acres which is owned by the government but the houses are maintained by individuals.
3. Dharavi’s total population is about 1.2 million which is greater/equal to the population of countries like Fiji, Bahrain, Bahamas, Greenland etc. There is, on average, 1 toilet for every 1,450 people living in the slum. (O.o)
4. Dharavi has an annual economy of 650 million USD which is greater than the economy of countries like Kiribati, Tongo, Tuvalu etc.
5. About 500 industrial units producing garments ,pottery, leather, steel, services such as recycling and cleaning exists here. About 15000 single room factories exists in this slum
6. Products made here are sold globally and even available in e-commercial sites.
7. 12-13 years old girls from Dharavi made Android apps; one of them is a learning app called ‘Padai hai Mera hak’ with subjects Maths, Hindi and English. The other two apps are ‘Women Fight Back’ which is an app for women safety and ‘Paani Hai Jeevan’ which gives notification to people when water is available in the community tap so that rush for water can be controlled.
8. DHARAVI ROCKS is an extremely enjoyable junk band consisting of 12 to 15 members who are underprivileged children, mainly rag pickers who have no access to most of life’s comforts.
9. DHARAVI BEINNALE is art fest organized by SNEHA, a Mumbai based non-profit organization. The event aims to combine art and science, to highlight the contribution of the people of Asia’s largest slum to India’s economic and cultural life, and to share information on urban health.
#10 Dharavi has always been a part of film industry. A self-titled movie directed and written by Sudhir Mishra won National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi in 1992 for portraying the life in the slum. Many parts of the Oscar winning movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ was actually shot here. A large number of junior artists in Bollywood comes from here