'Just breathe through your mouth and smile!'
Advice given to us by the air hostess on our BA flight as we landed in Mumbai.
'Despite the poverty, Dharavi has been described by the Uk's observer newspaper as “one of the most inspiring economic models in Asia……” Hidden amid the warren of ramshackle huts and squalid open sewers are an estimated fifteen thousand factories, employing around a quarter of a million people and turning over a stagging one billion US dollars annually…'
Rough guide India
The tour was run by Realty Tours and Travel, who recently won the 2012 Virgin holidays Responsible tourism award in the UK. Eighty percent of the funds generated by the tour goes back into the community to pay for various programs including Youth empowerment programs, and an art and photography class for young children. It was a fascinating place with seventy percent of the rubbish generated in Mumbai recycled there. Lots of the high street fashion label handbags and wallets are also made within the walls for a fraction of the price!
We carried on to visit an important Muslim site, Haji Ali's tomb.
The following morning, despite appearances, we were actually thrilled to be on the early morning train heading out of Mumbai and away from our hotel and towards Margoa.
Let's hope our hotel in Goa is mouse, mildew and rat free!