How can slums be improved?


What is a slum :-

  • A slum is an urban informal settlement that is unfit for living because it lacks access to basic sanitation, drinking water, electricity etc.

Situation of slums :-

  • Unhygienic conditions.
  • Lack of medical facilities.
  • Lack of sanitation.
  • Congested.
  • No access to drinking water and electricity.
  • Most of the slums inhabitants can’t be beneficiaries to Govt schemes.
  • Only few slums are recognized by Govt. Conditions in unrecognized slums are even more worse.
  • No drainage system. In most slums, waste water flow in between houses.
  • The little medical facilities available in slums is provided by NGOs.

Causes :-

  • Increasing rural to urban migration.
  • Urban areas are not being improved enough to accommodate the new inhabitants.
  • Poor planning of cities.
  • Poverty and lack of job opportunities in rural areas are the push factors of migration.
  • High cost of living in urban areas.
  • Natural disasters.
  • Increasing population.
  • Urbanization – Pull factor of rural migration.
  • Social exclusion.
  • Informal economy.
  • Some politicians use slum inhabitants as their vote banks. Though they give fake promises of improving the living conditions, they encourage slums.
  • Social conflicts – civil wars.

Effects :-

  • Reduced life expectancy of slum inhabitants.
  • Health problems due to drinking contaminated water.
  • Environment pollution.
  • Low standard of living.
  • Degraded health conditions.
  • Those living in slums get victimized easily by alcohol and drugs.
  • Slums inhabitants will become the worst victims of natural disasters.
  • Slums breed violence, crime, diseases, epidemics and psychological illnesses.
  • Preterm births.
  • Malnutrition in children.
  • Child labor.
  • No safety for women living in slums due to high no. of drunkards.

Failed Solutions :-

  • Slum removal – It made slum inhabitants homeless.
  • Slum relocation – It moved poor people further away from their work places.

Successful steps :-

  • Slum upgrading. It improved slum’s living conditions. But it does not address poverty and low wages of informal economy.
  • Organized urbanization – Planning & Modifying urban areas to accommodate newcomers.
  • Legitimizing slums instead of driving them out of their homes.
  • Improving job opportunities in rural as well as urban areas.
  • Planning rural development along with urban development.
  • Economic development.
  • Better transport facilities.
  • Affordable housing in urban areas.

What India is doing :-

  • Govt of India launched ‘National Urban Health Mission’ to improve health care facilities for urban poor.
  • India implemented ‘slum upgrading’ in a few recognized slums.
  • In 2015, Indian Govt allocated budget to replace crowded slums with 2 crore homes.

Conclusion :-

Besides improving the slums, the causes of slums creation should be addressed. Distributive development will serve the purpose and thereby everyone can have a dignified and healthy life.

Afterwords :- What do you think about this issue? Feel free to express your opinions in the comment section below.

Photo Credits : Michal Huniewicz

This article is written by Sheetal Patil. All rights reserved @ Group Discussion Ideas.

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