''Obsession With Poverty'': US Travel Influencer Criticised For 'Dharavi Slum Tour' Video

She also said her favourite thing about India is visiting the slums

An American influencer is being slammed on social media after she posted a TikTok video on Mumbai’s slums, dubbed by many as ”tone-deaf” and ”insensitive”. According to News.com.au,Tara Katims, known for her travel content, travelled to India last year and documented her experiences in the city.

In one of the videos from December which has since resurfaced online, the 24-year-old was seen touring Dharavi with a guide who formerly lived in the slums and now hosts experiences on Airbnb. Dharavi is a residential area in Mumbai, commonly described as one of the world’s largest slums. 

According to the Airbnb listing, the ‘Dharavi slum tour’ costs 6 euros ($10.80) and is run by Jitendra, who claims to have run tours for more than 1000 people in the area. 

In the video, the influencer said she was ”so nervous but so glad” she went on the tour, adding that it’s something tourists should consider doing when visiting Mumbai. Not only that, she also said her favourite thing about India is visiting the slums. 

”People can ”easily come to India and only see the beautiful parts, the reality is, this is how most people in Mumbai live” she said.

Many on the internet were left appalled and slammed the entire concept of a ‘slum tour’, claiming it was insensitive and akin to ”promoting poverty”. Others said that such tours are exploitative and unfair to people living in those areas, while others wondered why ”westerners think poverty tourism content is a good idea.” 

One user wrote, ”This is so tone-deaf! Those are people living normal lives and you think it’s a good idea to walk around their home and have the audacity to call it ‘slum tour.”

Another criticised her saying, ”Whites and their obsession with poverty in India.” A third wrote, ”Slum tour’ girl bye people live here – poverty is not tourism it’s not for you to be entertained. instead of posting a ‘slum tour’ maybe promote a charity which helps them.”

A fourth slammed her for spreading misinformation and wrote, ”Absolutely not how ”most” of the people in Mumbai live. This is a large slum but just one small area of Mumbai. At least try to be accurate.”

The UN defines a slum as ”one or a group of individuals living under the same roof in an urban area, lacking in one or more of the following five amenities”.

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