There’s hyped up controversy about paying to go see poverty on a “slum tour” in India, but there shouldn’t be if you do it right and with the best of intentions. In early February 2014 we went into the Dharavi slum on the edge of Mumbai with Reality Tours and Travel, a local walking tour company. If you’re going to be a tourist of any sort, better to be a traveler interested in seeing the reality of the place and people, and to do it with everything open: mind, eyes, heart, and a willingness to share.
Walking through Dharavi, I couldn’t help but think about what Gandhi pronounced:
"Just because we may have a different lot in life, doesn’t change the fact that we are all, at our core, one and the same."
What we learned first off is that a slum, by definition, isn’t poverty per se. In fact,...