EVERY SUNDAY, KIRTI JADAV leaves her house in Bhiwandi, a far-flung suburb of Mumbai, at around nine in the morning. She walks for ten minutes and boards a bus, which, in an hour and a half, brings her to Vasai Road station. From there, she takes the Mumbai local train, which reaches Dadar in an hour. At Dadar, she boards another train, and in around 20 minutes arrives at Sion. Jadav then walks for another 20 minutes to reach the famous slum of Dharavi, located in central Mumbai. Even on a good day, the journey takes over three hours. With bad traffic or train delays, it can easily take four.
And yet, Jadav treasures her Sundays. Because on these days, she gets to do what she loves most: act. In Dharavi, she heads to the home of Baburao Laadsaheb, whose living room serves as the studio for a weekly acting and dancing class. Students above the age of 16 are charged at Rs 100 per hour, and those below at Rs 10. Laadsaheb teaches the poorest ones free of cost.