I just watched Kevin McLoud’s documentary ‘Slumming it’ on Dharavi
If you missed it last week, please watch it on iView.
They live together in squalid unhygienic conditions, but genuinely seem more happy than many westerners I know. I think it is because they have, through sheer necessity, rediscovered what the individualistic west has lost… community. We have completely forgotten what community is and means, how it feels in daily life, how it breathes.
No one in Dharavi is lonely. No one. Everyone lives in the most intense levels of community. 3 generations of men will sit in the street after work and chat. The elderly, the workers, and the children and youth all respect each other and chat away after the day’s work. Crime is low. Young ladies can walk home at 1 o’clock in the morning and feel safe, because there are always so many eyes everywhere watching everything.
We’ve totally lost that. A ‘chat’ with our parents or in-laws is something we have to plan, involving a thing we call a ‘visit’. Here, it happens naturally in the street because of the sheer human contact forced on them by 1 million people living in 1 square mile. I wouldn’t want to recommend those ratios, but the New Urbanist’s can fit 1 million people into 40 square miles, unlike today’s suburbia which requires an OBSCENE 400 square miles!
Also surprising is something even the most right wing free-market capitalist would love, they have their own billion dollar factory industry! 85% of people in Dharavi have work!
Please watch the iView online today and then watch Part 2 of “Slumming it” tomorrow night, ABC1 at 8:30.