Made famous due to Slumdog Millionaire, there is way more to Dharavi than meets the eye. For those not aware of it, Dharavi is one of world’s largest slums; home to roughly 700,000 to about 1 million people, Dharavi is the second-largest slum in the continent of Asia and the third-largest slum in the world. Yes, it is lined with open gutters, homes on top of homes, very poor hygienic conditions and takes claustrophobia to another level. However, what a lot of people are not aware are of the industrious/ tech side of Dharavi with its manufacturing & retail ecosystem worth more than $1B! Residents work/ own various min-industries like textiles, recycling, leather tannery and pottery, furniture and now even jewelry!
Another feather that Dharavi can now add to its cap is being the hub of IoT – yup, you read it right – IoT as in Internet of Things. Thanks to a collaboration between Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay and Google, 100 IoT Beacons are now being installed with the Leather & Pottery shops to create a ‘physical web’ that connects different shops in the market.
According to Quartz, it is designed to allow any smart device to interact with real-world objects without having to download specific applications. Google’s Beacon platform lets retailers send timely alerts to nearby shoppers. The wall-mounted beacon can broadcast a web URL to anyone with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone standing up to 30 feet away. Once a customer receives the notification and opens the link, he or she is taken to an interactive online marketplace that offers information on what vendors in the locality are selling. To make sure that prospective customers are aware of the program, shopkeepers have been provided with posters asking shoppers to turn on their Bluetooth. “Most people who might be passing by Dharavi’s leather market might not even know that these markets have such good-quality crafty products,” says Chinmay Parab, a master’s student at the IDC who worked on the project. “[This technology will give them] digital visibility.”
Soooooo…..interested in checking out this industrious side of Dharavi with a local? Well you are in luck! We have THE experience for you – an entire day with a local of Dharavi where he takes you around the narrow lanes & shows you this industrious side of Dharavi that you only read about but never get to see!
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