The sour smell of the gutters, the rats running amok, the incessant thrum of noise, the claustrophobic living conditions, and the overflowing public toilets are daily irritations for the millions of inhabitants of slum areas in Mumbai. Add to that the exploitation of women who do piecework for small factories.
Krishna thinks she’s about 42 years old. She knows her husband was 38 years old when he died of AIDS seven years ago. They left their native village in Bihar, India’s poorest state, about 18 years ago, with their three children to be near his parents who’d moved to Mumbai, all of them with a desire to escape rural poverty and seek better opportunities in a mega city full of dreamers and doers.
Nestled between buildings and along water pipelines, slum communities encroach on every square foot of land available. It's in one of these overcrowded communities that we have been welcomed since 2009.