cityLAB

shakti mills lane

The ruins of Shakti Mills are one the few remaining silent testimonies to Mumbai’s erstwhile textile mills district, Girangaon. Its hauntingly beautiful thick, stone walls, majestic arches and imposing chimneys, now crumbling and covered with green, are still a sight to behold. 

It has solemnly stood witness, as the city around it shifts and embraces rapid urban development, becoming the business hub Mumbai is known to be today. 

Shakti Mills lane running alongside the Mill compound is a pathway through dual imaginaries – one of glorious nostalgia for the mill workers and their remarkable history and culture from the 70s and 80s, juxtaposed with its new identity as a worker’s enclave, home to hip cafes, designer shops, industrial units and a refurbished warehouse turned into a contemporary arts foundation. 

However, in 2013, the horrible gang-rape of a 22 year old photojournalist at the Shakti Mills compound completely shook these dual imaginaries to create a new one – that of a “rapist haunt”. The reportage focused on the nature of the crime, the modus operandi of the criminals, and the swift justice meted out to them, but nowhere did the commentary highlight the socio-cultural history of the mill district and its transformation from a middle class neighborhood three odd decades ago into a divided arena of affluence and poverty in the 21st century. 

Shakti Mills lane became infamous overnight. 
Is this district doomed to evolve in these extremities forever?

Read on about our Reclaiming Shakti project to learn how we are working on building a safe, inclusive and vibrant neighbourhood in Shakti Mills Lane!


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