Slums are usually highly populated residential areas within cities which have closely packed houses in deteriorated fashion and primarily inhabited by very poor people.
In the past 15 years India’s urban population density has increased by 45%, due to this, there is huge demand for land. Shortage of land forces urban poor to live in increasingly dense communities.
Dharavi in Mumbai, is the biggest slum in Asia. 4,00,000 people live here, 50,000 people per square km. This slum also existed in British colonial time.
CAUSES OF SLUM FORMATION
- Rapid rural to urban migration:
- Reason being people are attracted towards city life.
- Lack of interest in agriculture.
- High unemployment.
- Social conflicts.
- Natural Disasters.
- Inability of city government to provide affordable housing for low income people.
EFFECTS OF SLUM FORMATION
- High level of pollution, lack of basic needs of hygiene like water, adequate toilets, proper drainage, overcrowding in particular areas, so overall health and hygiene of people living there deteriorates.
- Poverty leads to hunger and illiteracy, which is dangerous for the country.
- Rise in the number of crimes due to unequal society.
- Many slum dwellers build their homes without legal permissions of the authorities, so they are at frequent risk of evictions.
- Social backwardness forces people to live in congested areas away from main areas. Eg. – SC and ST live majority in slums.
- Women and children living in slums become victim of social evils like prostitution, beggary and child trafficking.
- Child labour, Child marriages, Child mortality are other problems prevalent in slums.
- All houses are normally made of timber, which has a negative effect on the ecosystem. There is depletion of natural resources.
WHY PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO MOVE OUT OF SLUMS
1) They get more floor space as compared to low cost houses.
2) Better access to market and transport facilities as slums are usually in the middle of the city.
3) While younger women and men are at work, their children are usually in the neighborhood under watchful eyes.
4) Rent in slum houses are comparatively less as compared to other houses.
TOO BIG POTENTIAL LIES IN SLUM DHARAVI
- Dharavi is like the saucer of Mumbai, which collects water, rain, all waste.
- If Dharavi would not have collected waste then the condition of Mumbai would have been unexpressible.
- Garbage recycling is done on a mega scale, 60% of people living here are employed. They don’t have to go out to earn.
- Dharavi industries contribute more than 2 billion US dollar to the economy.
- There are many dyeing industries in Dharavi.
- There are computerized embroidery industries.
- Metals are collected from scrap, then melted and new Products are formed.
- Plastic recycling industries.
- Leather industries.
- 600,000 idlis are produced everyday which goes in the majority of food joints.
All this happens without getting anything significant from the government.
- It is very important to change the thought process of the people, urban people avoid staying in the same compound of the underprivileged.
- Government should think of a legitimate solution as rehabilitation takes place from core areas to places where employability is zero.
- Government should plan an upgrading approach instead of forced eviction.
- Easy financing and leasing options at affordable interest rates for upgrading buildings and extension of existing shelter should be made available.
- Freeing up unused land lying with the government should be used to create affordable housing.
- Sanitation: New toilets to be constructed.
- – Collection and processing of the waste, transforming it into bioenergy and organic fertilizers for sale.
- – Developing a viable business model to make sanitation available in slums in a sustainable manner.
- Youth and employment: Capacity building programme for youth, for better job opportunities.
- Health: To study the health and nutrition level of slum dwellers and organize programmes to educate them in the same aspect.
- To evaluate people’s participation in slum improvement projects.
- To understand various policy measures and programmes initiated by the government.
SAIFEE BURHANI SLUM DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
- This is complete slum development project in Mumbai Bhendi Bazaar .This slum is in 16.5 acres, has 250 bad shaped buildings
- This project will uplift the lives of 3200 families. Provide diverse Business opportunities to over 1200 businesses.
- This redevelopment programme is being undertaken to make residents’ homes spacious and provide business.
- It will create an environment which will lead to growth, good health and wellbeing.
- It will be a city within a city.
WHAT GOVERNMENT IS DOING?
- Government has launched a NATIONAL URBAN HEALTH MISSION to improve healthcare facilities for the urban poor.
- Pradhan Mantri Awas yojana for all.
- Basic service for urban poor
- Integrated housing and slum development programme.
- India implemented slum upgrading in few recognized slums.
Budget allocated for slum redevelopment.
Development of slums is essential for a healthy environment of urban areas.
CSR IN SLUMS
Actually speaking slums find very few takers for CSR Programmes. Reason being its legal status.
Slums are difficult communities to work in. You need to navigate many social, local and political elements. Slums don’t have any local or self-government and therefore no representative voice.
From a CSR perspective, you cannot work with an illegal body. Boundaries of legal and illegal slums are not clearly defined, so planning and execution of projects become extremely difficult.
Slum development if not treated with absolute sincerity and foresight can lead to catastrophic socio-political crises.