In: Uncategorized15 Jan 2010
After last week’s vilest ever television programme here is a contender for dumbest ever. Kevin McCloud, know in Britain for presenting television programmes on architecture, finds wisdom and happiness in Dharavi, the Mumbai slum reputed to be the largest in Asia.
He argued in his Channel 4 documentary that despite the poverty he sees it as a haven of community, safety (sometimes), high employment, sustainability and low impact living. In this he follows Prince Charles who said last year that: “I strongly believe that the West has much to learn from societies and places which, while sometimes poorer in material terms, are infinitely richer in the way in which they live and organise themselves as communities.”
One example of McCloud’s foolishness should suffice. The first part of the programme looks at Dharavi’s vast recycling operation and marvels at how people who are so poor can be so environmentally aware. Does he think Mumbai’s slum-dweller’s have been attending Greenpeace meetings or reading Guardian columns?
What should have been clear is that recycling is so big in Dharavi because of its poverty rather than despite it. Many people are so poor they have little choice but to make a living doing the dirty and back-breaking work of sorting garbage.
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