Thursday, October 14, 2010
In Mumbai there are 19 million people. Half live in slums. In fact Mumbai is India's largest city, and has India's largest slum. The children of slum dwellers face the daily prospect of being trafficked. In Mumbai there are 100,000 children enslaved in brothels.
Mumbai is also home to India's richest man Mukesh Ambani. Ambani made the news this week by purchasing the most expensive home ever which is 27 stories high and worth £630m (over a billion dollars US).
According to the Telegraph UK "Ambani, his wife and three children have moved into the building which is named Antilia, after a mythical Island. It contains a health club with a gym and dance studio, a ballroom, countless guestrooms, a range of lounges and a 50 seat cinema. There is even an elevated garden with ceiling space to accommodate small trees. The roof has three helicopter pads and there is also underground parking for 160 cars, which will come in handy for guests at Ambani's forthcoming housewarming party. From the top floors of the 173m high (567 feet) property are spectacular views of Mumbai and of the Arabian Sea.
The 53 year-old tycoon is not only the richest man in India but the fourth richest man in the world. In total there is reported to be 37,000 square metres (almost 40 thousand square feet) of space, which is more than the Palace of Versailles. To keep it running smoothly requires 600 staff. "
It is unconscionable. It is beyond comprehension. It is heartbreaking beyond words, that so few would take so much, when so many, so very near to them, have so little. Please, please, let us make a pact to live lives that take very little and give so very, very much.