The other day I watched a couple of YouTube videos of the Dharavi Slum of Mumbai, India. I thought I would be depressed watching, but I was not. The living condition in the slum is not ideal, the life expectancy of a resident is less than 60. It is noisy, smelly, and polluted, and one of the most densely populated areas in the world. The air and water is polluted and there is no sewage or drainage system. The electrical lines hang low and are such a mess I do not know how anyone can figure it out.
There are about 500 industries and over 15,000 single room factories in Dharavi. The single rooms that I saw in the videos were dirty with little ventilation. The people were working hard under poor conditions and likely receiving little money for it, enough to buy food and live, but little else. Dharavi has plenty of food vendors, and seeing all the wonderful food and bread items made my mouth water. I love Indian food, it makes up the majority of my diet.
An outsider to Dharavi would need a guide to wonder the narrow congested streets and find their way back. The narrow streets are unmarked and filled with small businesses and people scurrying about, with motor bikes and other vehicles weaving in and out amongst the clutter. It is a sight to behold, I had no idea what was ahead or around a corner, it seemed like an endless maze.
I think that life is difficult for the people, and what I found inspiring was watching children playing in the streets with friends, older people sitting about and talking or moving about, is that they were friendly and appeared happy. The people have to be creative and resourceful to live with so little, when some people have everything and are so depressed. Dharavi is a vibrant place to live, and I wish all the community the best.
Currently about 1 in 7 people around the world live in a slum, and what is depressing is the prediction that in ten years 1 in 4 people will make such a place home. Here is a mantra to lift the spirit.
Filling the belly with the air is attractive and divine to cause a juice to flow in the vessel to cleanse a coverer of the earth to cover in the brilliance of heaven. To be in control of that spread out the navel with the air and lift upward to lift the spirit and bring delight, for those to spread joy and compassion among mortals.