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Dharavi Research Report

Dharavi Research Report

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Published by: monkeydan707 on Feb 11, 2014
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A Reflection on National Geographic: The Real Slumdogs

Jack Fox English 6 1/17/2014

Fox 2

In the middle of one of India's largest cities Mumbia there is a slum called Dharavi. There are one million people squished into one square mile. 85% of the people in Dharavi have a job. Even though Dharavi is a slum, people will always succeed in finding a job. Three success

stories in particular are a rag picker named Laxmi, the son of a tailor, Jigha, and a rickshaw driver Shailesh. Google images: Dharavi

Laxmi is the first success story; she is a 3rd generation rag picker and now owns a rag picking business and employs five others. Her life is not easy at all. She is a single mom trying to put her daughter through school, help others, and do rag picking all at the same time. She battles dangerous objects every day. Laxmi's life is a balancing act. Now I cannot say that about a lot of people; but you can about a rag picker, in a slum in India.

Jigha is an eleven year old and he is our second success story. He goes to school like any normal eleven year old; except he isn’t any normal eleven-year-old, he lives in a one room house/ tailor shop with his single dad. His life is not great by any means, but he still has hope. He attends school along with extra classes including a computer class. What Jigha want to do with his life is become a successful scientist. He thinks that if he studies hard and speaks English a lot, then he can achieve that. Jigha has a motto and that is "even poor people can succeed.”

Fox 3

Shailesh is the next success story. He is a simple rickshaw driver with a not so simple dream. His dream is to become Bollywood's next big star. Shailesh attends acting school regularly and has recently made a break in a music video for a couple of religious songs. After filming, there was nothing but good things to say. Acting is his hobby but not his job or main priority. His job is rickshaw driving, and his priority is providing Google Images: Rickshaw driver

for his family with the $60 he makes every week. Shailesh’s simple life would be no longer simple with the break he wants.

People in Dharavi will always succeed in finding a job because “Nobody starves in Dharavi. There are lots of opportunities for work.”1 Dharavi produces 1 million dollars every day from small things like buttered biscuits and colored fabric made in one-room factories. Laxmi, Jigha, and Shailesh are all three-success stories that play a role in that million. A rag picker that is making a difference in other people’s lives, a twelve year-old wants to be a scientist, and a rickshaw driver that wants to be Bollywood’s next big star. “Dharavi is built on the determination of its own people a determination to see through everything”2 and that is what makes Dharavi the city of dreamers. Nevertheless, that determination cannot do anything against the bulldozers that are threatening to level Dharavi, the city of dreamers.


Laxmi. National Geographic: The Real Slumdogs. CD ROM. Directed by Steve Baker. San Francisco, CA: Independent Television Service, 2010.

Vindod Shetty. Ibid.

Fox 4


National Geographic: The Real Slumdogs. CD ROM. Directed by Steve Baker. San Francisco, CA: Independent Television Service, 2010.

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