Most upper class and high income middle class Indians are weary of venturing into a slum. The thought of entering a dark alley, with no light, space enough for a single person to walk, scares the daylight out of them. Sadly, a large chunk of our fellow Indians stay in these slums. Temporary structures with no security for life, no protection from the elements, are supposed to be homes. There are children, women, and men living in deplorable conditions, under the constant fear of losing their so called homes. Next time when you are out in a Mall, spare a thought for the lesser privileged who have no means for two decent meals a day too. Are YOU aware that the current numbers of slum dwellers has surpassed the number of people living in Great Britain. Find below a list of the six most disgraceful slums in our country.
6. Dharavi Slum, Mumbai
In not the very recent past, Dharavi was called the largest slum of Asia, but has now been surpassed by others. Spread in over 557 acres, it houses almost three lakh people, who work very hard to earn a living. Situated close to the metros with two main rail lines in the suburb, it is ideal for the labor class who migrate from the villages for a better future. Most of the inhabitants are housemaids, small vendors, sex workers or daily wage laborers who have no confirmed source of income.
5. Bhalswa Slum, Delhi
Sadly, the biggest bank for child laborers’ is located in the heart of India, in Delhi. Every time it rains people of this slum stay awake, start packing the few valuables they have and wait for the inevitable. The slum is located on the banks of Yamuna, with the rising waters playing havoc with their lives every year. Every government in power only remembers them when they need their votes, surveys are done, and promises are made, soon to be forgotten. The rising crime rate in Delhi, is supposed to stem from frustration due to no jobs and lack of basic amenities.
4. Rajendra Nagar Slum, Bangalore
The garden city of India, can also lay no claims to being slum free. It alone has 570 slums, out of the total 2000 slums in the state. Sadly, they have been told to shift into shelters constructed under a flyover, with no care to their life’s security. Bangaloreans refuse the existence of Rajendra Nagar slum, claiming that all have been rehabilitated. Like other slums, this one also lacks basic facilities of drinking water, sanitation and electricity. Women and children are sexually exploited or have to become sex workers to survive.
3. Basanti Slum, Kolkata
The moment you step out of a train and are crossing the historic Howrah Bridge in Kolkata, you are shocked to see the slums on both sides like mushrooms. Makes you wonder at the irrelevance of all the talk of becoming a super power, youngest democracy in the world, blah blah bah. One third of the city’s people live here, while we pretend that they do not exist and go on living our lives as robots, with no essence of humanity. After blaming God for their existence, most men in these slums choose to spend their evenings drinking and beating up their wives and kids.
2. Indiramma Nagar, Hyderabad
The least famous neighborhood of Hyderabad, houses more than six lakh people, in grossunhygienic conditions. The children are the worst sufferers in these slum dwellings, as they have no future, no access to a decent education or even right to two square meals. The frustration that creeps from seeing an outer brighter world, to which they have no access, scars their inner being for life. The number of Indians living in slums has only doubled in the last decade, reflecting on the poor state of governance in our country.
1. Mehbullahpur Slum, Lucknow
The city of Nawabs, has also its share of disgrace in having inhabitants that dwell in slums, in pathetic conditions. Most of these people are migrants that have come from the nearby regions looking for work. In the lack of basic education and monitoring by government the population of these areas swells faster than the urban group. Next time when you vote, choose a candidate you believe will uplift the lives of our fellow countrymen living in shameful conditions.