Dharavi is a slum and administrative ward over the parts of Sion, Bandra, Kurla and Kalina suburbs of Mumbai. It is spread over the area of 175 hectors. Dharavi has the population over 1 million people.
Dharavi is one of the largest slums in the world.
In the 18th century Dharavi was an Island. The area of present Dharavi was mangrove swamp before the late 19th century, inhabited by Koli fishermans. Migrants from Gujarat established potters colony, from Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra tanners belonging to the Charmarkar caste migrated to Dharavi and set up the leather tanning industry. Artisans from Utter Pradesh migrated with their embroidery workers and started the ready made garment trade. There is an increasingly large recycling industry, processing recyclable waste from other parts of Mumbai. The district has an estimated 5000 businesses and 15000 single room factories.
Dharavi has several problems with public health, due to the scarcity of toilet facilities. In 2006 there was 1 toilet per 1440 resident in Dharavi.
Mahim creek, a local river is used by local people for urination and defecation.
Dharavi featured in Danny Boyle's 2008 Oscar winning film The Slumdog Millionaire, where several of the child actors in the film are from the Dharavi slum.