The tightly packed spaces of Dharavi, India’s largest slum are a favorable condition for the virus to spread rapidly. Dharavi has had more than 1,800 confirmed COVID-19 cases making it the worst affected part in Mumbai.
The slum is a maze of tiny alleys with thousands living in tin shacks. For the most part families of migrant workers pile into a single room. Lack of sanitation has made the situation worse with a looming virus. This week it was able to brave through another disaster in the form of a cyclone that hit the city.
Authorities have continuously ignored the problem of overflowing sewers and sanitation. Even the basic amenities like running water are denied here. Here is how people are helping one other with the absence of municipal amenities as reported by Washington Post.
- Kunal Kanase, a 31-year-old student hounded government helplines to get authorities to quarantine the neighbor’s family. Failing to do so, he tweeted at the Mumbai police, who quickly quarantined the family.
- Similarly, in another incident, a lady became sick with COVID-19, he once again tried to notify the authorities but with no response.
- The Washington Post highlights, “Kanase and his team at Dharavi Diary, a group of young leaders who work to improve conditions in the sum, have been working to help those affected by the pandemic, handing out bags if rice, flour, cooking oil and sugar – enough good to feed a family for two weeks. But they lack the resources to provide for everyone and often must filter out the needy from the neediest.”