Magazine article New Internationalist

Behind the Beautiful Forevers Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Slum

Magazine article New Internationalist

Behind the Beautiful Forevers Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Slum

Article excerpt

Behind the Beautiful Forevers Life, death and hope in a Mumbai slum Katharine Boo (Portobello Books ISBN 9781846274497)

Hidden from Mumbai international airport by a concrete wall covered in advertisements for floor tiles ('Beautiful forever' is the corporate logo splashed across the posters) lies Annawadi - a sprawling slum built on garbage. Its inhabitants struggle to survive by recycling and selling discarded rubbish and, in this dog-eats-dog world, those who want to get ahead must have no compunction about stepping over (quite literally, in one case) their fallen neighbours.

Thus Annawadi is portrayed as a microcosm of our globalized world, and it's a pretty grim place. Corruption is as prevalent as the filth; those who try to stick to the rules are considered weak. With immense wealth - as symbolized by the airport - within sight but out of reach, many of the slum-dwellers understandably feel bitter. …

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