33 imagesi had the great honor of visiting nareshwadi learning centre, near dundhalwadi in maharashtra, india. a few hundred children live here, where noble volunteers are trying to provide some semblance of a stable learning community to keep the boys fed and the girls from the sex industry. in the midst of such poverty and cause for despair, there is such kindness and generosity here... school wasn't in session when i visited because of the national holiday of diwali, and most of the children had returned home to their families. the only kids staying at nareshwadi were orphans with nowhere else to go, or who needed the centre's retroviral drugs to combat HIV. nareshwadi workers took the children to another world, the big city of mumbai, for a few days to experience previously unaccessible luxuries: playing games and seeing a movie in a big movie theater -- complete with an escalator! -- and participating in a holiday pooja, an ornate hindu prayer ceremony. after the pooja, a huge feast featured real ice cream.
23 imagesdharavi is the largest slum in asia, with over a million people shoehorned into one square mile of mumbai. so many people desperately trying to survive... i won't attempt to otherwise describe it in words.
22 imagesthe sixth-largest urban area in the world, mumbai is home to nearly 20 million souls on the western coast of india. it is a very interesting place to visit.
13 imagesmuch of mumbai's laundry is hand-washed by workers at the dhobi ghats, near mahalakshmi station. the clothing arrives in the morning, is slapped against stones and scrubbed all day, then air-dried, then pressed and folded in newspaper and sent off for a tiny profit. it is hard work. the laborers take pride in their profession, and one of the washermen was kind enough to blow me a kiss.