Commonly referred to as Asia’s largest slum, Dharavi is on prime property bang in the middle of Mumbai (Bombay), India.
Since rent in Bombay is one of the highest in the world, Dharavi provides an affordable option to many who move to India's financial capital with big dreams. As a result, it is congested with a population of more than a million living in tiny homes, surrounded by a mesh of narrow by lanes and open sewers. In the monsoons, flooding is common leading to water borne illnesses. Public health is a major concern. As of November 2006, it was estimated that there is only one toilet for every 1440 Dharavi residents.
“I always wanted to work at the grassroots level. Working in Dharavi and setting up this school has given me the opportunity to do just that.”
-- Zubin Pastakia, School Founder and Director Infinity Post Pvt. Ltd.
A city within a city, Dharavi is also a home for small scale industries such as embroidered garments, pottery, plastics and leather goods. The government has plans to redevelop Dharavi. It is estimated that the project will cost $2.1bn. Clearly, this will not be an overnight task.
In the meantime, the Art of Living has reached out to improve the quality of life for thousands of residents through year round wellness programs and now by setting up a quality English medium school to nurture the next generation of Dharavi residents.