To call Mumbai's Dharavi a slum is a massive understatement.

Instead it is the centre of recycling, repurpose and reuse at the heart of one of the world's most populated cities. Alongside other small scale enterprises, corporates engage local communities to process paper products, oil drums, plastics, etc. De-centralised, market-driven industries thrive across a multitude of neighbourhoods in this highly productive hub – populated by close to a million people. Its extensive recycling plants, craft and food production enterprises yield an estimated GDP of USD $50 million.

Dharavi was the home of the Mumbai's original resident community: the Koli fisher-folk, who have since been joined by migrants from across the nation. Together they now form a rich social fabric and practice diverse forms of productivity – spanning 80 distinct neighbourhoods.

Dharavi was the site of my ethnographic research in late 2009 for Niti Bhan, of the Helsinki School of Economics.

If microfinance is your thing you can check out a spot of discussion based on our Dharavi insights at Random Specific.
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