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  • Shoe-box shaped houses. Stacked precariously on each other, connected by steep iron ladders. Not an inch of space wasted anywhere. This is the community I teach in Dharavi, Mumbai, India. Most families (average size of a family: 6) live in a 10 ft X 10 ft house but I rarely saw bitterness or depression. Yes, people here aspire for better things in life and like magicians, they reuse / recycle almost everything that the rest of us throw away as garbage. This ability to turn waste into something useful is a very interesting business in this community. Dharavi is a melting pot of migrants from all over India and that is so obvious in my classroom where children speak 5 languages and have their origins from the various communities of India.

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