Dharavi (Hindi and Marathi: धारावी; also spelled Daravi, Darravy, Dorrovy) is a slum in Mumbai, India. It is one of the largest slums in the world.
Dharavi slum was founded in 1880s during the British colonial era. The slum grew in part because of expulsion of factories and residents from peninsular city center by colonial government, and from rural poor migrating into urban Mumbai (then called Bombay).Modern day Dharavi came to be founded in the 1940's once the British left India, and once the majority property holders of the area, Shantilal Nemchand and Co sold off there property holdings allowing houses to be built. It is currently a multi-religious, multi-ethnic, diverse settlement.Dharavi's total population estimates vary between 300,000 to about 1 million.
Dharavi has an active informal economy in which numerous household enterprises employ many of the slum residents. It exports goods around the world. Leather, textiles and pottery products are among the goods made inside Dharavi by the slum residents. The total annual turnover has been estimated at over US$500 million.
Dharavi has suffered through many incidences of epidemics and other disasters. It currently covers an area of 217 hectares (535 acres).
Location and characteristics:
Dharavi is situated between Mumbai's two main suburban railway lines, the Western and Central Railways. To its west are Mahim and Bandra
, and to the north lies the Mithi River, which empties into the Arabian Sea through the Mahim Creek. To its south and east are Sion and Matunga. Both its location and poor drainage systems make Dharavi particularly vulnerable to floods during the wet season.
Dharavi has a high population density, and as with other worldwide slums, overcrowded. It is mostly low rise structures surrounded by Mumbai city. In most large cities, the floor space index (FSI) varies from 5 to 15 in the Central Business District (CBD) to about 0.5, or below, in the suburbs. Dharavi's FSI is very low. Still, in expensive Mumbai, Dharavi provides a cheap alternative where rents were as low as US$4 per month in 2006.
There is a disagreement if Dharavi is the largest slum in Mumbai. Some sources claim other slums in Mumbai have grown to become larger than Dharavi.Other sources disagree, and rank Dharavi as the largest slum in India.
Guided tours through Dharavi:
A few travel operators offer guided tours through Dharavi, showing the industrial and the residential part of Dharavi and explaining about problems and challenges Dharavi is facing. These tours give a deeper insight into a slum in general and Dharavi in particular.