Approximately 1 of 6 Indian city resident live in an urban slums in India with “unfit for human living” unsanitary conditions. Some of the world largest slums exist in India like Dharavi Slum of Mumbai, Bhalswa Slum of Delhi, Nochikuppam slum (Chennai), Rajendra Nagar Slum (Bangalore) and Basanti Slum (Kolkata). Most of the residents are rickshaw pullers, sex workers, small seasonal vendors, house maid servants with a family income ranging from a modest Rs 1500 to Rs 3000.
The slum population is growing steadily, doubled over the last two decades. According to 2011 census, around 6.5 crore of Indian population live in slums, of which 1.18 crore live in Maharashtra. The present population living in the Indian slum is more than the British population.
1. Dharavi Slum, Mumbai
Mumbai, ‘The Dream City’ houses India’s largest slum area known as Dharavi. Asia’s biggest slum Dharavi has an area of just over 2.1 and about 1,000,000 inhabitants. Dharavi is one of the world’s most densely populated regions with population densities of more than 277.136/. Since Dharavi is located between the two main sub-urban railway lines in Mumbai, most people find it convenient to live for work here. It offers a cheap alternative, since rent is low. Dharavi also made it to the Asian list of ’10 Travellers’ 2019 choice experiences.
2. Bhalswa Slum, Delhi
The government may have covered the Garbage Mountain with grass and mud, but it does not conceal the slums that are based there. It is said that more than 24 per cent of Delhi’s population live in slums. With a population of about twenty two thousand, the Bhalswa slum is one of the most densely populated parts of the capital. These slums are tending towards the Yamuna river bank. The inhabitants here come from the different parts of Delhi. The government of Delhi resettled residents from various other slums here with the aim of cleaning up the area.
3. Nochikuppam slum, Chennai
Nochikuppam is an urban slum located at the end of Marina beach, home to even more than a thousand families, most of whom are fishing occupants. Around 5,000 families live below poverty level in this slum and they don’t have enough money to eat two meals a day. Nochikuppam was severely hit by the tsunami of 2004 and was submerged in the 2015 floods for days. Harsh cyclones like Varadah had all uprooted and yet for years the dwellers have faced the odds unflinchingly.
4. Rajendra Nagar Slum, Bangalore
Bangalore the ‘IT hub of India’ alone houses 570 slums in state out of around 2000 slums in all. It is estimated that around 20 per cent of the population in Bangalore resides in slums. The families living in the slum aren’t willing to move into the temporary shelters, saying staying under a flyover is unfair and dangerous. Though the Bangaloreans condemn the presence of this slum because they believe the inhabitants were rehabilitated. Like other slums, this slum lacks the essential hygienic, nutritional and water requirements.
5. Basanti Slum, Kolkata
‘The City of Joy’ Kolkata has a slum zone known as the Basanti slum. It is one of Kolkata’s most critical slum areas. Once you see the famous Howrah Bridge, you see the slums on both sides of the road, too. According to the census one third of Kolkata’s population live in this slum. Every day is a new battle for the people who live there. They find it very difficult to make a livelihood with the epidemic that is spreading because of an uptick in the unhygienic environment.
Author: Pallavi Bhagat
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