In Mumbai, India, I took a tour of the biggest slum in the world called Dharavi.
Also made famous by the movie Slumdog Millionaire, Dharavi has well over 1 million people living in a space that’s half the size of Central Park in NYC. Walking through Dharavi was the most eye-opening and real experience that I’ve ever had. At first, I was nervous and I thought it’d be unsafe and scary, but I was proven wrong. I learned how productive the people work and how much this slum produces to the Indian economy. Everything there is VERY well organized with industrial factories and residential neighborhoods. Dhravi is over a billion-dollar industry, using recycled foods to produce everything from aluminum to leather to pottery, and they make everything by hand. The poverty levels and dirty streets are nothing like I’ve seen in my life, with most people working 15 hours a day in extreme hot weather for just $1-3 USD per day. But above all, most people didn’t seem unhappy. I saw hundreds of smiling faces on the kids as they were giving me hi-fives when I walked past them. It was both humbling and mentally exhausting and something I’ll never forget. I think everyone should see Dharavi with their eyes because then you’ll begin to appreciate how much you have in life.