Images of Chambur, Mumbai

Auto Driver in Chambur, Mumbai. Driver with his auto in Chambur, Mumbai... Driver by his house. ...and in front of his house The area called Chambur in the 1990s was entirely composed of houses built by their occupants on Bombay's biggest rubbish dump. Some 400,000 people lived there at one time. The houses had no sanitation, no water and no legal electricity. The most striking feature of the people was their general air of happiness, and their beautifully pressed clothes. Marsh area with egrets. Between the mounds of rubbish marsh areas attract egrets - and diseases General view of Chambur. A typical view of Chambur: marsh between rubbish heaps, and the heaps crammed with houses constructed by their owners Calf and forage. Calf and tattered shelter, but plenty of forage, against the backdrop of a rubbish heap Shop-keeper in kiosk. Pop-up shops are not new. One of the kiosks that serve the area Men and boys posing. Preventing any group of people forming a posed group in India or Vietnam is almost impossible.
No less so in Chambur
Rubbish picker. A 'rubbish picker', Chambur's main employment Men and children in front of house. Same two men with their house and more children Group on pathway. On a pathway with the skeletons of houses Main street. The main street of Chambur Two men on main street. Main street with two men and a reminder of the world beyond from the hill that can be seen Children by clinic. At the heart of Chambur is this small clinic around which people congregate A woman and children in front of the clinic. A woman joins the children a little less sure that photography is a good idea The clinic in the main street. An auto waits by the clinic Inside the clinic. Inside the clinic There were nearly as many people living in Chambur at the turn of the century as in the city of Leicester in the UK. As they were regarded as squatting illegally there were no official services. This building provided the only health care at the time. The front of the Chambur clinic. Chambur's only health provision Girls in a small Islamic school. The girls side of a classroom in a small Islamic school provided by the community. While religious organisations provided most of the basic services to the community, divisions between beliefs also lead to its main problems - in Chambur riots destroyed lives The school room with teachers and pupils. The school room with teachers and pupils Main street. A small Buddhist monument, with a reminder that Hindus regard Buddhism as a branch of their religion Children outside the clinic. But, as ever, trying to photograph any non-human object is beyond the realm of many people's beliefs: Surely you want to photograph them? The children crowd in The next page is about Spirit Screens, those, to western eyes, strange walls which confront the visitor at the entrance to temples and important buildings preventing one seeing into the building. Entrance to the Samye Ling Temple at Eskdalemuir in Scotland. line
Saturday 19th December 2015

(Many additions in March 2018)

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