The Dharvi Project Video Response Essay

Submitted By courtneymariahlinds
Words: 2295
Pages: 10

Six new facts or issues:
A. Stereotypes (page 107)- assumptions of what people are like, whether true or false
a. This definition fits perfectly with how the outside communities, business, tourist, and governments view the little “town” of Dharvi. To the outside world Dharvi is a despicable place. Its filled with one million poor individuals. These individuals live in illegal shacks and often are victim of work abuse, like sweat shops. Dharvi is the “recycling center of Mumbai” so one would assume it is a massive waste deposit. Many make out this entire area to be a slum. Now when thinking of slum you would think the worst of the worst. But there and entire society and underlying life style that most do not care to look deeper into. Yes Dharvi is practically a landfill, but without those who work doing all of the recycling Mumbai would have a major problem. Families in Dharvi have been working for this recycling business for generations and generations. It has become, for most, their way of life. They wake up and work until they fall asleep. Do the people of Dharvi lose hope? No. Most of the people who work for this business are doing so to provide food for their families, help out with charities, send their children to school, or even to make something of themselves. Dharvi, on the surface, is looked at as a slum; it’s beneath the surface that counts the most. Dharvi is made up of individuals who have a dream to become something. They want to make a lot of money, provide for their families, make it into show business, or even own businesses. They are just like us. Striving to do what’s best for themselves and their families. Even though they get little to nothing there are some who go out of their way to help with charities or other families in their community. They are good hearted people who, because of certain circumstances, are portrayed as “scum of the earth” and remain that way because individuals outside of Dharvi will not bother to look underneath. (345 words)

B. Norms (page 45)-expectations of “right” behavior
a. Personally I felt the term norms were a substantial part of this video. The people of Dharvi have a norm of working as hard as they can. When they wake up they head off to work. In some sections of town they can be anything from teachers, “rag-pickers”, bakers, or even potters. Though they are limited to what they can actually do they all work extremely hard. Many in this community had to work from the time they were little to adulthood because their families could not afford to send them to school. When they started having families they worked even harder so they could send their kids to school to have a chance that they did not get. They want the next generation to do better for themselves and make something of their selves. If this means they have to work extremely long shifts in terrible conditions most will do it. It is a norm in this community to want to succeed. In all reality that is a norm that is noticed universally. Some who have worked extremely hard have made realized and reached their success. They own their own businesses, are able to send their children to school and have even helped in the community. The part that stuck out the most to me was the fact that even though some have reached their success (those who became Slumdog millionaires) have continued living in Dharvi to remind themselves of where they came from. The video allowed us a behind the scenes look into Dharvi’s heart (its people). In America we view a norm as having a roof over our head, food on the table, and for most our basic needs are taken care of. In Dharvi they eat one meal a day, typically don’t have their own room, they have dirt floors, and some/most cannot go to school. They scrape by and are happy and content with what they have. In some cases I wish I grew up in Dharvi , so I knew what it was like to struggle (though I grew up somewhat similar) but I had my basic needs taken care of. (367 words)