Over 65 million Indians live in extremely poor, crowded urban neighborhoods called “slums.”
What would life be like if you lived in a slum? If you lived like most slum families, you’d sleep in a tent or shack … or maybe even on the sidewalk of a busy street or in an alley.
You probably wouldn’t have access to toilets or clean drinking water. The electricity would only work for an hour or two each day. If you had kids, you couldn’t afford to take them to the doctor if they got sick.
Some of your neighbors might be people who used to live in rural villages. They moved to the city in the hopes of earning more money and making a better life for their families. Instead, many of these migrant workers end up living in temporary shelters in slums.
The world’s biggest slum is located in the second largest city in the world: Mumbai, India.
An estimated 14 million people live in this city on the west coast of India. Mumbai is also considered the richest city in India. Many global companies have offices in Mumbai, and it is the heart of India’s financial industry. Also, Bollywood, the world’s largest film industry, is centered in Mumbai.
Yet at least half of Mumbai’s 14 million people live in slums.
One of these slums is called Dharavi. It is the biggest slum in Asia – over 1 million people are crammed into less than 1 square mile!