nagar_280Nehru Nagar, originally an area cordoned off for leprosy sufferers, is the only slum area in Vile Parle, Mumbai – a suburb near to the airport and train station. Jobs are abundant in the area, due to the numerous construction sites and it has experienced vast development in the last few years.

“The first time I came to Nehru Nagar was in 1975,” says Veenod of Vimala Dermatological Centre, “and there were just a few hundred leprosy patients that we were taking care of, living in rudimental huts. Now it houses 50000 people, coming from all over India. We have electicity, paved alleys, brick and cement houses and all sorts of shops and activities.”

Like all the other slums in Mumbai, Nehru Nagar is sceduled for demolition, but the inhabitants don’t necessarily want to move into the buildings that the government is building for them. Even though Nehru Nagar is still poor and overpopulated, its residents consider it their home where they have everything they need.

Albertina d’Urso