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Sewage flows through Asia's largest slum Dharavi. Ref pic for Paani

Sewage flows through Asia's largest slum Dharavi. Ref pic for Paani

One of the great contributions to the richness of Hong Kong’s urban scene were without doubt the caged balconies that lined the elevations not only of the Walled City, but also of many of the city’s other older tenement buildings. Sadly now but a distant memory, since they were classified as illegal structures in the late 1990s and torn down, these practical and otherwise very necessary additions to life in a tiny apartment were a source of constant delight.

One of the great contributions to the richness of Hong Kong’s urban scene were without doubt the caged balconies that lined the elevations not only of the Walled City, but also of many of the city’s other older tenement buildings. Sadly now but a distant memory, since they were classified as illegal structures in the late 1990s and torn down, these practical and otherwise very necessary additions to life in a tiny apartment were a source of constant delight.

Ramshackle corrugated tin, plywood, plastic, pukkah bricks, sheets of asbestos, sweat, people and garbage make Dharavi. Dharavi and many other slums like it are nothing but human ant colonies built by legions of our urban poor. They are places which are at same time sombre, moving, joyful and interesting. Under the squalor is great spirit and ingenuity. I went looking for this spirit in this place most people refer to as ‘Asia’s largest slum’ but I would prefer to call the ‘Heart of Mumbai’.

Ramshackle corrugated tin, plywood, plastic, pukkah bricks, sheets of asbestos, sweat, people and garbage make Dharavi. Dharavi and many other slums like it are nothing but human ant colonies built by legions of our urban poor. They are places which are at same time sombre, moving, joyful and interesting. Under the squalor is great spirit and ingenuity. I went looking for this spirit in this place most people refer to as ‘Asia’s largest slum’ but I would prefer to call the ‘Heart of Mumbai’.

Friends of NASA:   Tondo, Manila, Philippines | Earth | Satellite Tondo is one of the most densely populated areas of the world with 72,000+ inhabitants per square kilometer. Located in the northwest portion of Manila, the capital of the Philippines, the district is primarily residential and contains many of the city’s slums. 14.617°N 120.967°E 10/28/2014 https://plus.google.com/u/0/

Friends of NASA: Tondo, Manila, Philippines | Earth | Satellite Tondo is one of the most densely populated areas of the world with 72,000+ inhabitants per square kilometer. Located in the northwest portion of Manila, the capital of the Philippines, the district is primarily residential and contains many of the city’s slums. 14.617°N 120.967°E 10/28/2014 https://plus.google.com/u/0/

I looked through the fence, staring at the city that would be liberation and freedom, beauty and glory. The city that would be everything, if one could make it. But no, I would be stuck in the slums, and I would never see any of that. I closed my eyes, and resolved to make a promise. I would get there someday, by life or death, I would make it out of here.

I looked through the fence, staring at the city that would be liberation and freedom, beauty and glory. The city that would be everything, if one could make it. But no, I would be stuck in the slums, and I would never see any of that. I closed my eyes, and resolved to make a promise. I would get there someday, by life or death, I would make it out of here.

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