Over 5,000 potter families live within the potter community of Kumbharwada in the slums of Dharavi in Mumbai, India. Many of these families have been there for several generations, and migrated to Kumbharwada about 100 years ago, from the region of Kutch, in Gujarat, in western India.

About 100 years ago my grandfather also migrated from Kutch. His own family had for generations been salt pan workers in the Raan of Kutch. My grandfather emigrated to what was then British East Africa, where my father was born, and where I was born, in the newly independent Kenya.

One of my childhood memories is of my grandfather proudly telling me stories of the highly skilled artisan potters in his home village of Kathiawar along the Gulf of Kutch within the state of Gujarat.

Some of these potters migrated to Kumbharwada. These early immigrants from Kutch helped build the vibrant and thriving potter community that exists today in Kumbharwada, in the Dharavi slums.

— Karim Ajania

Click here for Karim’s grandfather’s salt pan laborer region in Kutch.

Below are the photographs by Sanket Khuntale of the Kumbharwada potters in the Dharavi slums.