Here you find two interviews we made on our cycling tour in India in the slum area Dharavil.
About the idea behind it, there is the article A slum area in Bombay.
I did prepare some questions and Pooja accompanied us to make the translations.
I will not give any own interpretation to it. I will only give you the answers. So it is up to you if you are interested in it to think about it.
We went to two different places inside the slum area and we meet Ghulam Sadique Ali, 43 years old, he has an own business as a tailor. And we meet Mekka Arvind Gohil, 35 years old, housemaid. With Ghulam, there are 8 people living on a minuscule homes of 4×4 m², with Gohil 5 people are living in a 3x3m² spot.
So we introduced ourself first before the interviews
Maybe first of all about me and my husband, Andrea & Klaus. We are 54 and 59 and we are cyclists. We came all the way from Germany on our bicycle and we meet many wonderful and exciting people on the world. Of course we do have our thoughts about countries and of course we had our thoughts about Dharavi. We are always pleased to learn that things are different.
So we asked Pooja, if she would accompany us, to ask you some personal questions to find out more, to tell the people out in the world. Well, to give you a voice. I’m an artist with pictures and use photography to tell the story. So I would like to ask you some questions and, of course take maybe 3 or 4 pictures afterwards. Is this okay for you? Maybe our questions are far too simple, maybe in your eyes stupid or do not make any sense. Then I do apologize in advance. In that case, just tell us what comes in your mind about your living, your dreams, your hope for the future.
And this were the questions I hoped to get the answers:
- Why do you live here (lack of green, fresh water, …)
- Since when do you live here
- What has changed since you live here
- Is there anything that would mean a better life for you? Do you have any aims in life?
2.) About your family. Tell us a little bit about….
- Your husband / your wife
- Your children
- Do they all live here
- What is your wish for them
- How much do you earn per week?
- Do you have your own house (how much is the rent?) (How much do you pay for water, electricity, school,…)
- What do you think about „Peace“ and „Freedom“
- It seems so safe/peaceful here! How does it come?
- How is it to live as a woman here?
- What is most important for you in live
- What would you change if you could
- If you had ONE wish, what would it be?
6.) Anything else you would like to tell us?
Ghulam Sadique Ali, 43 years old, tailor
I live here because of the access to work. I am a tailor and I do this business together with my brother and some helper. Here in the slum ares I’m able to sell my goods to some resellers. I live here since 25 years. I have no plan to leave the area. First of all because of the work, second I do not have enough money to buy a house outside the slum area. Maybe I can do when I get older.
Within the last 25 years a lot has changed. This was a messy place, little bit like a cemetery. Thee were no houses like this. No we have at some time on a day electricity and water. We have schools and hospitals. One big one, which is a governmental one, we do not have to pay for the treatment and there are some private ones, we would have to pay for. The schools are for free. My wife stays at home and takes care of the children. For the children the only wish I have that they study and that they can do the kind of work they want to.
I do earn 168€ / Monat. For rent, water and electricity I have to pay 73€ / Monat.
So for living, for more education for my children, there is 95€.
Yes, we think about freedom, about peace. Freedom would mean to us, that we could roam around. No limited space. About peace? We think about peaceful places, quiet places, not so much noise, not so much pollution. That would mean peace to us.
About the safety for woman in this area? 50% is not safe for woman. That is why you keep your wife at home. Not all man are good persons.
I have this dream about a higher salary. The most important for me is work to earn money and the second important would be to be able to safe some money to buy one day a proper house outside of this area within some nice village.
Mekka Arvind Gohil, 35 years old, housemaid and potter work
I’m married to my husband since 15 years. Since then I’m living in this area. Everything is almost the same. We could afford to make it a little more nicer with tiles on the ground.
I have no aims, but if the children have a good study, so maybe the children can get me out of here.The pottery job I wouldn’t do anymore. I’m an artist, but now I have to do some pottery work.
My husband is doing a job as a welder. My 3 children all go to school. We do not have to pay rent, because we own this house.
About freedom? I do not have any freedom. I’m not going out without my husbands permission.
About peace? I do never think about peace. If I think about this area, it is a pretty safe area, pretty quiet. So this is maybe a peaceful area within the slum.
Most important for me? My dream? Well, I left my dreams behind for my 3 beautiful children. My dream before was to become an beauty artist, but I left it behind.
Something I really want to do ist to meet my Mom again. I didn’t meet here again after marriage since 15 years. I’m deeply crying for meeting my mother again.
I’m not so much in interviewing people. This was actually my first time. But I will continue next to my portraits. Interviews seem to give a much closer idea about the people and their thoughts.