ACORN Foundation India and Kitab Khana, Mumbai, invite you to the launch of ‘Dharavi: The City Within’

ACORN Foundation India and Kitab Khana, Mumbai, invite you to the launch of ‘Dharavi: The City Within’

Acorn Foundation India and Kitab Khana, Mumbai, invite you to the launch of ‘Dharavi: The City Within’

DATE: June 14, 2003 TIME: 6 p.m to 7.30 p.m

VENUE: Kitab Khana bookstore, Somaiya Bhavan, M.G Road, Fort, Mumbai

‘Dharavi: The City Within’ is edited by Joseph Campana and published by Harper Collins


1. Introduction by Vinod Shetty, director, Acorn Foundation: He will speak about Dharavi and the origins and purpose of the book.

2. A panel comprising: (i) Laxmi Kamble: activist from Acorn and the waste sector

(ii) Shirish Patel: Architect and urban planner

(iii) Thayapa Santi: Educationist and activist working in Dharavi

(iv) Kalpana Sharma: senior journalist and columnist

The speakers will highlight some of the main issues related to Dharavi, including redevelopment.

3. This will be followed by a discussion with questions / comments from the audience.

4. We will close with a short music performance by 4 members of Dharavi Rocks, a band of young people who work and study in Dharavi.


Dharavi houses half-a-million people and has some of the most expensive real estate in Mumbai. Behind its success are the efforts of thousands of extraordinary people. In ‘Dharavi: The City Within’ the dreams, aspirations and anxieties of this thriving community come alive in the hands of some of India’s best writers and journalists. Meet Prema Salgaonkar, who knocks on 500 doors a day taking deposits for the Mahila Milan Bank to make sure her neighbours have money set aside for when trouble hits. Meet Vadivel Thambi, who delivers milk and texts his poetry to hundreds of adoring fans. Meet Sayeed Khan Bucklewala, a brass foundry owner who makes millions selling belt buckles. Find out how the people who live here pay their bills, cope with shiftless and abusive spouses, educate their children, and protect their homes and livelihoods from those who would turn them out. Alongside is a larger overview of what it means to live in such a city system. Dharavi, in the course of its evolution, has raised a number of issues pertaining to decent living standards, development and maintaining amity. These hold important lessons for India as a whole as it urbanises at a rapid pace.


Joseph Campana lived in Mumbai from 2007 to 2011. He taught feature writing and literary journalism at the Xavier Institute of Communications and literature at the merican School of Bombay. His writing has appeared in the Indian Express and Time Out Mumbai. He currently lives in Missoula, Montana.

ABOUT ACORN: The Acorn Foundation India Trust organises waste-workers and trains them in scientific methods of waste handling, segregation and recycling. The Dharavi Project is a multi-media project of the Acorn Foundation that utilises artists and social-impact programmes to change the living conditions of over 100,000 ‘rag-pickers’ who segregate waste in Mumbai. Its mission is to increase the welfare of waste-workers and give their profession a legitimate and sustainable voice in the recycling and waste-management value chain in the city.