Mumbai is a metro city with the most vibrant and colorful culture in the country. It has a high-class lifestyle and is a place with some of the most luxurious hotels in the country. But a new slum hotel is opened in Mumbai recently which claims to give tourists a Slum Experience.
Foreigners can stay in this hotel for 2000/- Rs a night, they can experience the most typical slum stay and have a close look at the lives of slum people.
Opened by David Bijl who belongs to the Netherlands and is working for an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) over the past years in collaboration with Ravi Sansi, whose paper maps business was put to an end after the launch of google maps. David says that it’s not a place where you can pass by and click some selfies to update on Facebook. This place aims to give people a real-life experience of slums and the life of a slum resident. It can result in a beneficiary on both ends.
The Idea Behind The Hotel
The basic idea of this slum hotel came to Sansi when he met a girl from Singapore. She was being harassed on streets. Ravi saved her and she asked him to take her to some places. After roaming around the prime locations of Mumbai Ravi took her to his home, which is a one room tenement with the family of 15 people. “She slept with my bhabhi (sister-in-law) in her bed, learned to cook Indian food, ate with us and washed her clothes with my mother in the doorway. When she was leaving, she cried for having such a beautiful experience with us,” told Ravi to the reporters.
That’s when Ravi came up with this idea to give tourists a Slum adventure. The hotel consists of a loft in Ravi’s home which consists a TV, AC and a Mattress. The tourists will stay with the family, eat with them and use the common toilet as the other slum residents. When this idea was introduced to the family if Ravi, they warmly welcomed it as they were in need of funds. But now they understand the concept and welcomes the tourists with an open heart.
Should The Foreigners Really Experience This?
However, citizens of India have some diverse view about it. They say that this is not the type of culture that foreigners should know about India. India is already way behind the other countries now if we show them the slums, they’ll end up thinking this is the face of India. But Bijl says slum makes the 60% of Mumbai population, they are a vital part of it.
The government’s official permission is still to be done but the Sansi family plans to follow the rules like keeping a record in a register and filling out forms of the tourists. For now, Sansi has made sure that tourists are comfortable and they enjoy their slum experience with them.
So, this was India’s first slum hotel. Many new hotels with creative and unique ideas are opening in India. Recently, Asia’s first dog-hotel opened in Gurugram in India. Check out this story to know more about this luxurious hotel.