Poverty porn | Slum hotel open to foreigners with ‘food & accommodation’ for Rs 2000

Poverty porn | Slum hotel open for foreigners with 'food & accommodation' for Rs 2000

Are you someone interested to taste the comforts of India’s poverty-stricken slums? If so do not hesitate to contact Ravi Sansi, the first host to open up his slum house to the tourists.

The real life of India’s financial capital also knows as “slumbai” can be felt with first of its ‘slum homestay’, an initiative kick-started by a Dutch citizen, David Bijl who works for an NGO at Mumbai. Sansi and his family nodded to the idea because they were in need of funds—spending a night at Sansi’s home will cost a couple Rs 2,000 and the entire amount will go to the host family.

For 2,000 rupees (£22) a night, “slum hotel” guests can stay with a host family in one of the poorest of the poor areas of Mumbai including using a public toilet shared by more than 50 other families.

Though criticised for being an example of poverty tourism, David Bijl thinks it is a good option for anyone who wishes to understand the prevailing inequalities of a luxurious city.

The slum where Sansi lives with his family is now open with a new “loft” equipped with a flatscreen television, an air conditioner and a new mattress – all of which are considered luxuries for the majority of residents.

Raising the controversies, critics call the new scheme of poverty tourism as exploitative and demeaning where the residents of slums are showcased as ‘animals living in a zoo’.

But despite the backlashes, the Facebook page of the slum hotel, has started advertising: “You’ll be staying in a separate room for maximum two people (one single mattress). The family stays in a living room/bedroom/kitchen where you can go to socialise. Bathroom is shared with the family, toilets are shared with the community.

“It also shows how slum-dwellers manage diversity – Indians of every faith and every corner of the country live in Dharavi.”

Top