'Mumbai' a beautiful mess

Trip Start Dec 02, 2012
Trip End Mar 03, 2013

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Flag of India  , Maharashtra,
Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jan 8th Tuesday day 31

This city of 22 million people (same population as Aust) is our favorite city so far. We need at least another week here, 1 day wasn't enough. We've spent our time wandering the waterfront and exploring the streets of Colaba admiring the beautiful old British Colonial buildings and the massive tropical, mango and fig trees. Unfortunately a large percentage of the buildings are in varied stages of crumbling and decay. There is less rubbish on the streets, most are bitumen and wide.
We hired a guide this morning and spent 2hrs in the biggest slum in Asia - Dharavi. What an incredible place, very vibrant and self sufficient. My own opinion is that you can't really call this place a "Slum" compared to the poverty and rural villages that we have passed through. We went through their factory's where they recycle abolutely everything. The living quarters of the Muslims and Hindus are now separate since the 1992 bombings. No cameras were allowed inside as we had to respect the wishes of the slum dwellers. Definitely no workplace health and safety here. Most homes had a TV but no sanitation. there is a communal toilet block but men and children usually just go outside with the rubbish. I think this equates to 1 toilet to 1500 people. They have to buy water and that's only available for 3 hrs a day. According to statistics, in 2008, 700,000 people died during the monsoon from Cholera and Diarrhea.
Actually, we were more emotionally challenged at the state of the street dwellers living on the pavement amongst the filth and detritus. The young children and women are subject to abuse and they have no rights at all, not like the slum dwellers - no sanitation, no water and no education. There are 250,000 homeless kids living under bridges, the railway station in the city of Mumbia. Most of the teenagers are on liquid drugs (glue)
We had drinks at the iconic hotel the Taj Mahal palace tonight just to say that we've been there. (They cost a bomb). The security was very strict - scanned, patted down etc, no chances being taken.
We saw the section of the city where the laundry gets washed. It's the biggest laundry in the world and 5000 people work here and their called laundry floggers. There used to be 10,000 workers but due to people buying electric washing machines the numbers have dropped.
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Bec on

Mumbai sounds really interesting - you'll have to go back

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