India's Mumbai to get 'world's first slum museum'

The world's first slum museum is inspired by Dharavi (pictured), one of Asia's biggest slums.
The world's first slum museum is inspired by Dharavi (pictured), one of Asia's biggest slums.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
A woman washes her clothes in a canal filled with rubbish in a slum in Mumbai, India.
A woman washes her clothes in a canal filled with rubbish in a slum in Mumbai, India.PHOTO: REUTERS

MUMBAI (AFP) - The teeming Indian metropolis of Mumbai - home to the neighbourhood made famous by the film "Slumdog Millionaire" - is to get the world's first slum museum, organisers said on Tuesday (Jan 5).

The museum will showcase some of the myriad of objects that are produced every year in Dharavi, one of Asia's biggest slums and the setting for Danny Boyle's hit 2008 movie.

"It will be the first museum ever created in a slum," Spanish artist Jorge Rubio, who is behind the initiative, told AFP.

The small mobile museum will open in February for two months and display everything from pottery and textiles to recycled items, Rubio added.

The organisers of 'Design Museum Dharavi' say they want to challenge people's perceptions of slums by highlighting the creative talent that resides in them.

More than a million people live in the maze of alleyways that make up Dharavi with many working in the area's mini-factories, which produce every kind of goods imaginable.

Following the success of "Slumdog Millionaire", the slum has become a tourist attraction and guides offer tours of its hundreds of workshops.

In 2010 Britain's Prince Charles cited Dharavi as a role model for sustainable living, praising its habit of recycling waste. Last year the slum hosted its first art biennale.

More than half of Mumbai's 20 million inhabitants live in slums, enduring cramped conditions, poor ventilation and a lack of toilets.