The other side of Mumbai

The human traffic on Mumbai roads

The human traffic on Mumbai roads

India’s economic development is evident in the high rises of Mumbai, the Western stores, the fashions, the clubs, the growing comforts of the middle class, the increasing number of cars on the road, the jobs, the development of tech hubs, the improvements in infrastructure. The idea of “India Rising” has become almost a cliche catchphrase.

The World Economic Forum here in Delhi trumpeted high growth rates and continued economic expansion; a new India is indeed flexing her muscle globally.

But there remains a major question about just how much of that trickles down to the other half (or truthfully vast majority) that still lives on less than a dollar or two a day.

A poignant reminder, as I cruised the streets of Mumbai: a brother and sister begging from motorists at a stop light. The sister never looked up; she just murmured and held out a hand. A man, presumably their father, barefoot and covered in burns, asked for alms a few cars up.

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Nothing like a little sea breeze in your face

drivesea

The ocean at Mumbai from the back of a Harley Davidson

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