Written by John Dexter of the Adelaide Review.
One thing common to all big Indian cities is the slums. While many might write off the slums as places of poverty and desperation, the truth is that they are mostly humming communities of people living, working and loving their way through life.
The Art of Hope Tour takes visitors into one such slum in New Delhi: the Kathputli Colony. This slum is unique not just for its central location in the sprawling city of New Delhi, but for its incredibly creative inhabitants. You can expect to see doll-makers, dancers, singers and puppeteers in your visit here.
Walking through the slum might be an impressive journey for those who have little experience in these types of communities, as the small side streets and busy paths wind intimately close to the lives of those who live here. Small shops, markets, businesses, homes and community areas all blend into each other in the grand display of colour and humanity so typical of an Indian city.
The people of Kathputli Colony practice all manner of arts, including dance, puppetry, singing and music, but as the Art of Hope Tour emotionally demonstrates, the greatest art they share is that of optimism and perseverance. Hailing from all over India, these folks have come to New Delhi to make a better life for themselves, and carry on the traditions of the delicate, sometimes ancient arts they practice.
Guides take visitors along these paths expertly, explaining some of the history and even socio-political aspects of slums like these. Pointing to high-rise apartment buildings looming over the community, the guide explains that these people face the threat of eviction for the building of such towers. They band together though, showcasing their arts to visitors, practicing one above them all: the art of hope.
*If you want to experience the Art of Hope Tour, it forms part of our brand new Incredible India Tour. Have a look at it here.