Redevelopment On Horizon For India's 'Recycling' Slum

<p>Plans to redevelop Asia's largest slum will displace over 1 million people, many of whom earn their livelihood recycling Mumbai's trash.</p>
April 21, 2008, 5am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"People from around the country come to the city to fulfil their dreams, but many of them end up in slums; it is estimated that more than half of the city's population live in squalor.

At the heart of the city - surrounded by posh, luxurious skyscrapers - is Asia's largest slum, Dharavi. It spreads over 525 acres (212 hectares) and is home to more than a million people.

Dharavi may seem like any other: full of dirt, filth and sewage, but what maybe an eyesore for most of the city's residents is also a recycling marvel.

"The majority of the place is plastic recycling industry," says Naushad Khan, chairman of Dharavi Businessmen's Welfare Association.

"We also recycle paper and cardboard. If we make a brand new cardboard box the cost is about two dollars but if we reprocess the old one the cost is half."

It's an industry that employs almost 200,000 people.

Walking through Dharavi, home to an estimated 15,000 single room factories, it is difficult to find anything that is not recycled here."

"The residents warn that if the area is redeveloped it will bring problems for not just them but every single resident of Mumbai.

"We bring the entire city's dirt and create a livelihood from it," says one resident."

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Published on Friday, April 18, 2008 in BBC News
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