Mastering Geography Videos Transcript

This is a transcript of the video on the Educator Features page.

It's colossal. I knew it's the biggest city in India but it just seems to go on and on and on like the size of a small country. Mumbai has become a great symbol of India's economic growth in recent years. It has some of the most expensive property in the world as well as some of the largest slums.

Like many people in Mumbai, Vikas is not a local.

“Why did you move here?”

“Work man. This is where the action is.”

“Was it a good decision?”

“I love the city, at the same time I hate it. It's the richest city in India. At the same time, it also has the most poor people. It has a lot of slum in India. So it's just full of contradictions.”

“Of course in India, this is seen as the -- this sort of pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, isn't it? This is the place to come to to make your fortune.”

“Yeah definitely. This is -- this has the biggest pot of gold and the biggest sewer.”

“The biggest pot of gold and the biggest sewer. That's -- I need to remember that.”

India's population has more than doubled in the last 40 years. There are now at least 1.2 billion people in this country. This population explosion is having profound consequences. In just a short time, Mumbai has gone from being a small port to a mega city. One of the original fishing communities here were the Kohli's.

This is incredible. I wondered how India's rapid changes were affecting them and the ocean that sustained them for generations. But we're walking into near total darkness. They live down by the sea in a small fishing village that's become an urban warren.

Are you sure this isn't into somebody's house? This is absolutely unbelievable. It's really overwhelming here actually. Overwhelmed by the sights and senses.

Oh bloody hell, look at this.

The Kohli have been fishermen for centuries. Making their living from the Indian Ocean. Now they live down here on the beach surrounded by pollution, muck, and the tower blocks of the big city.

[ Foreign Language Spoken ] “The Kohli are the original inhabitants of Mumbai. We're the fisher folk.”

“What's the fishing like off here? This is a huge city. I'm imagining that with all the ships and the pollution, the fish stock must be declining but is that the case?”

[ Foreign Language Spoken ] “It's difficult for us. Before we earned good money and our kids ate well. But because of the lack of fish in the sea, our life has become difficult.”

[Music] More people means more stomachs to feed and it means over fishing and more pollution. And lack of fish is just one of the problems faced by the Kohli. Property developers are now after their patch of seafront.

“You live on what looks to me like prime real estate right next to high rises and then the city of billionaires.”

[ Foreign Language Spoken ] “There are no toilets or running water here. The high rises have all the facilities. All their needs are met but no one listens to us.”

The Kohli people believe they're being deliberately denied basic community so they'll have no choice but to move away from the sea front.

“It does feel a little bit to me as though your whole way of life is being threatened because the fish stocks on which you rely are dwindling and you're being squeezed out by the developers who want your land. Does the community here feel under threat?”

[ Foreign Language Spoken ] “You know, everybody wants a piece of this sea front location but the sea is our god. We make a living from the sea. It feeds our children. So whatever happens, we're not leaving. We'll stay here come what may.”

It's, perhaps, inevitable a fishing community like the Kohli's will struggle to survive in the polluted waters off a growing mega city but as this extraordinary country continues [music] to develop and industrialize, the impact of India's increasing population is being felt all around the Indian Ocean.