Meet the Indian family inviting foreigners to their ‘Slum Hotel’ for a poverty experience

    639 397 Adam Bloodworth
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    Who goes on holiday to slum it?

    A whole load of people are expected to, now that the first Indian ‘slum hotel’ has opened.

    The idea is that foreign visitors to India will be able to experience living in poverty, with a real family, in an ‘authentic’ family house.

    The ‘slum hotel’ is now open in Mumbai and a night’s stay costs 2,000 rupees (£22) for one room fit for two people with one single mattress. Guests will share the simple living environment with 50 other members of the community, including the basic toilets.

    Guests will share toilets with 50 other families

    To the modern traveler the accommodation may seem incredibly budget, but relatively speaking, guests are in luxury. To put the room into context, next door, in the living and kitchen space of the house, Slum Hotel owner Ravi Sansi lives with 16 other members of his family.

    Ravi explained to The Guardian that this is a typical way of living for many Indian families.

    Ravi insisted slum tourism (where guests visit slums for half an hour or so) is “superficial” and offers none of the “authentic” experience he provides. Slums are, says Ravi, “part of the reality of Mumbai – not the only part, but a part”.

    Slums “the reality of Mumbai”

    On the Slum Hotel’s Facebook page Ravi explains: “This is a real experience and so are the pictures, not doctored or only shot from the right angles, but made to give you an honest impression of what your stay will be like.”

    The Slum Hotel may be the first of many. David Bijl, from the Netherlands who works for the NGO who set the project up, has said other Mumbai locals are interested in taking part in the (very profitable) scheme for locals.

    Adam Bloodworth / 30.01.2018


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