In India you see colourful signboards everywhere. What happens when some signboard painters try their hand at the classic art genre of sitting portraits? The film follows an exhibition, Healers of Dharavi, held in Mumbai in March, 2015. The exhibition featured portraits of a variety of local healers — homeopaths, general physicians, bonesetters and even an amulet-maker — who offer an astounding range of formal and informal treatments. The film offers a unique insight into how people live, work and struggle to stay well in the most challenging circumstances.

Healers of Dharavi was exhibited as a film-installation at Tabiyat: Medicine and Healing in India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai from 12 January to 28 March 2016.The film was commissioned by the Wellcome Collection, the cultural division of Wellcome Trust, a UK-based medical charity organization that funds research around the globe, including in India.



Dr. S.M. Merchant, General Practitioner

Dr. Renu Marwah, Acupuncturist & Naturopath

Mohamed Salim, Bone Setter

Mahalingam Nadar, Pulse Doctor

Dr.Poonam Talreja, Homeopath

Azim Kazi, Faith Healer



Sham Jhadav

Mahendra Vartak

Dileep Thawal

Niren Savaniya

Script, Director & Editor:

Chaitanya Modak

Director of Photography:

Philipp Eyer


Benita Fernando and Sitaram Kharat

Healers of Dharavi Curator:

Supriya Menon

Wellcome Collection Curator:

Ratan Vaswani

Production Company:

Bambai Ki Billi

Shot in Dharavi, March 2015