Dharavi Slum, India
Why it's controversial: Ever since Slumdog Millionaire hit theaters in 2008, Mumbai's massive Dharavi Slum has been a popular tourist attraction for Western tour groups. While revenues from the tours are said to go directly back into the community, many have questioned the ethics of paying money to see some of India's poorest people go about their daily struggles. As one New York Times op-ed writer put it: "Slum tourism is a one-way street: They get photos; we lose a piece of our dignity."
Instead go to: Mumbai's Chowpatty Beach, where Indians of all walks of life gather, and you can have meaningful interactions without the pretext.Back to top