Tourists are being offered the chance to stay in an Indian slum where they will spend the night with a family of 16 in their one-room house in Mumbai.
For £22 per night visitors are being told they can ‘step out of their comfort zone’ to experience ‘real life’ in India’s financial capital.
While in the slum, they will be able to sleep in a special converted loft, which has small luxuries including a new mattress, a flat-screen TV and an air-conditioner.
A group of children play outside a slum house in Mumbai. Tourists are now being offered the chance to spend the night in one of them for £22 per night
However, guests will be expected to share the same bathroom and toilet facilities with the rest of the people living close by.
The host family is headed by Ravi Sansi, who is unable to speak English but says they will do anything to keep their guests happy, reported the Times of India.
He came up with the idea for the homestays after David Bijl, 32, a Dutch citizen who works for a Mumbai NGO, encouraged Mr Sansi to open up his home to paying guests after he lost his job selling maps.
Mr Bijl has now set up a Facebook page advertising Mr Sansi’s home with the listing showing the cramped accommodation, shared bathroom and children waving at the camera.
While staying in the slum, guests are being told they can step out of their comfort zone and experience ‘real life’ in Mumbai
And he told the Guardian that spending the night in the slums can help travellers really appreciate what life is like for a large number of Indians.
He said: ‘Visitors come in, take a few snapshots for their Facebook page and go off without really understanding anything.
‘I have worked in many slums and I know there is a positive impact for both sides when an outsider takes an interest in slum dwellers’ lives and how they cope by connecting with them.’
Many visitors to Mumbai take tours around the slums of the city after they were made famous by the Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire.
More than half of Mumbai’s 20 million inhabitants live in slums, enduring cramped conditions and poor ventilation
More than half of Mumbai’s 20 million inhabitants live in slums, enduring cramped conditions, poor ventilation and a lack of toilets.
In 2016 it became home to the world’s first slum museum, which opened for two months, and displayed everything from pottery and textiles to recycled items.
However, some people have criticised the tours and the overnight stays saying they exploit and demean the people who live there and don’t help them in anyway.