The Super-Rich & the Super-Poor in Mumbai: Slums vs Skyscrapers in India's Megapolis | Documentary


Nicknamed ‘the infernal Metropolis’, Mumbai is a city in perpetual development. But with millions of people living in slums located on valuable real estate, how can city planners balance the competing needs of the population?


It’s one of the most populous cities on the planet with 22 million inhabitants, predicted to increase to 30 million by 2035. In Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia, over one million people are packed into the 2 km. slum. But although its residents are poor, there’s a real dynamism. Mahesh, 27, was born and lives in this slum and would never leave it. He runs a recycling plant and employs around 20 people. Dharavi’s underground economy is thought to generate 800 million euros per year. But it also lies on prime real estate in the very centre of Mumbai so its future is in doubt.


Every day, new towers of glass or concrete emerge from the earth. With the support of the municipality, real estate tycoon, Babulal Varma, razes slums to build luxury apartments for the upper classes. As the city constantly expands, it pushes into the surrounding forests and natural spaces, such as Sanjay Gandhi Park. The fifty leopards who live there regularly make forays into the new housing estates. They attack stray dogs, but also the inhabitants. Each year, several people are killed by feline attacks. At night, forest department rangers patrol to prevent leopard incursions.







Everyone wants the slums to go away but no one wants to properly rehabilitate the residents by giving them proper space and facilities, as it's not economically feasible. What a paradox




The fact that all the millionaires and billionaires in this city could change the slums and make their lives better but chose to ignore everything is horrifying.




The pain of those memories for the father were palpable. He worked hard and not only provides for his family but all of those he now employs. He and his son are slumdog millionaires and earned every penny.




I have lived in Mumbai in these living conditions. I came to mumbai as an engineer, i used to make 500 USD per month. The struggles and hostility of the city towards non rich stifled me.

I moved to Ohio after living there for 3 years.




We need to wake up to the fact that the ultra wealthy in collaboration with our own government is rip off the future for our children. Everyday pieces of our country are sold off, jobs requiring skilled labor keep going overseas, and the gap between rich and poor is swallowing the middle class. Soon it will be rich (paying little to no taxes) and the poor (paying their share as well as that of the wealthy).  Our country could easily become filled with slums, increased homelessness, crime and few opportunities to save ones self.




The struggle is for real. Older generations really did struggle in every country just to make a better life for their children. It’s really sad how some people suffer so much . Well done to all those who turned their lives around. What happens to the people living in the slums when their houses are demolished?are the poor people just thrown onto the streets so the rich can live in the new apartments?do they really get rehoused? I doubt they would be given free houses




India needs to implement well managed programs by it's governments and millionairs  to provide well managed housing and social assistance for it's poor like other countries.  




The wealth disparity in India is terrifying




It’s not Mumbai’s fault, every day people from all places of India running like crazy towards Mumbai. All states should develop and grow and provide opportunities to its people to earn.




Mumbai is 'city of dreams' for those only who dream of it. I was born in Chennai , southern part of india and till now I have  never had an urge to go to Mumbai even for sight seeing. The beauty is that even in the cramped slums and  312 sqft apartment they still had time to make love and manufacture babies!




Feel so badly for locals and natives that are pushed out by gentrification and usurpation in Mubai & worldwide.




I had lived in Bombay for one year in the 80's when I got my first job. My friends used to tell me:" Bombay is a great city of paradoxes where a poor man earning 2 rupees a day live on the other side of a rich man earning 2 millions a day demarcated by a road - the poor man must be slee on the pavement every night "!




The problem of undeveloped countries is that only a few regions, cities or even boroughs are developed. Which drives millions of people from poorest areas to migrate. To some of them is their only opportunity to survive. It saddens and maddens me that this is the world we live in




I love that he said we are not doing crime, we are doing struggle.




On one hand, seeing India's rapid improvement over the last 10 years has been amazing, it's a country full of hard working, naturally intelligent people with a deeply fascinating and rich culture; they truly deserve to be one of the top dogs on the International stage.

But seeing how these new developments and infrastructure destroy entire neighborhoods, and thousands of lives with each neighborhood leveled, that is extremely discerning. India faces many more hurdles, including government corruption and the wills of the ultra-wealthy, overpopulation, the continued need for economic improvement, etc.... And buying people's homes from under their feet to be destroyed, just because they are slums, is the worst way to go about gentrification.




The fact that average people in my country live like what they consider luxury is mindblowing. The slums and working conditions are inhumane Good luck for the future




Gentrification is such a tough subject no matter where in the world, although I do applause them for having laws to provide housing for the people affected, but just like most places, they stop short of providing PROPER housing and many are worst off or thrown out of the city to be forgotten.




As has always been with the poor and less fortunate folk everywhere and more so in India, the population is incredible and their rate of multiplication is mind blowing. Note one man saying he has 9 kids - in this day and age. This has always been their curse. In a city like Mumbai where space is at a premium, a family of 3 struggle to survive - what chance does a family with 9 kids + elders have ? Unfortunately their financial situation doesn’t come to their mind when they have kids. Better community service and educating them about population control is the only way out. Else, there’s no point in complaining about sparse space and deplorable living conditions. Peace




Actually Mumbai is expanding and new bridges and skyscrapers are being built so a huge labour force from various states comes to Mumbai with families in huge number and for these reason slums have grown right from the time of independence and  now property rates are very very high in Mumbai even a doctor or any government official will think ten times to get a flat in a posh area




In one of the shots of the city you quickly see this oddly shaped skyscraper and it’s the home of the country’s richest man and its valued at 2 billion dollars, it apparently has a 16 story underground garage and a indoor ski park with snow and it’s all for one family. That man alone could probably solve a lot of the poverty in that city but he lives in this building surrounded by poverty.




The guy in the slum spoke better English than the privileged man




They really need to do something drastic about the overpopulation issue. Also relocate the people into good homes too.  Let them be given move in classes about maintaining the beauty and peace in their new homes. Employ them in various capacities to help build their new housing.




It's really depressing that only 20% have access to running water... this is something lots of us take for granted




It’s so sad to see all those wonderful people living below poverty line and no way out in one of the richest countries in the world




Mumbai is a 'city of dreams' only for those who have the privilege of dreaming big. For a large part of India, dreaming is as luxurious as being able to afford food, shelter and good education for children, as everyone saw in this video. And mind you, Mumbai is one of the most advanced and metro cities of India.




It looks like Dharavi has its own economy....




I am from Mumbai, Great work thanks for showing harsh reality of mumbai


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