Legend has it that Goddess Mumbadevi, the patron Goddess of Mumbai (from whose name, the city’s name is derived) has bestowed a blessing on Mumbai city. It is said that whatever you earn in Mumbai city, will be spent here. You cannot take money from Mumbai elsewhere for a long time. I really do not know whether it is for a fact, but it could not be a truer
Unlike in the Gulf where one family member works and sends money back in India, the same is not the case in Mumbai. In a matter of a few months, a person rich or poor alike will strive to get his family here.
That is probably the reason why, the city is burgeoning with people in such geometric proportions. According to the 2001 census, the population of Mumbai was 11.91 crores According to extrapolations carried out by the World Gazetteer in 2008, Mumbai (including the suburbs) has a population of 22.23 crores, an increase of 87 % !!
My workplace is in an area, surrounded by six 5 star hotels and plenty of corporate buildings. A typical case of water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. Plently of 5 star eating joints but out of reach of the common middle class guy wanting to grab a bite.
Just about 3 months back a young bhelpuri wala put up his stall in the evenings. Comes at around 4.30p.m and packs by 8.30 in the evening. In a matter of 4 hours, he manages to serve around 150 customers everyday and must be making an average 2000 Rs. (Most people end up taking 2 dishes). Raw material, hafta all included, he may be making a neat Rs. 1000/- a day as profit. He has already bought a kholi nearby and got his wife here…and hey presto… 2 more added to Mumbai’s population which makes Goddess Mumbadevi’s blessing come alive. He will earn here and spend here keeping Mumbai’s economy alive
The number of people among our colleagues who have come from far flung places to Mumbai, and have settled down here making this place truly theirs is well known. I guess about 95 % of them do not plan to go back. Mumbai is home for them
That leads us to the basic point to ponder. Instead of pointing fingers at a particular community or state and fighting tooth and nail for them to go back, should we all not think collectively on ways to improve infrastructure and make it a better place.
Alternatives will arise only if we close our doors on the thought, Let X,Y,Z leave Mumbai and work towards options to improve Mumbai. It is only going to help make it a better city to live in.