Perpetual flow of people from villages to cities creates many socioeconomic problems. The density of population of cities rises and civic amenities fall short of needs. Law and order situation deteriorates. Prices of essential commodities rise. Housing situation become acute and rents soar. New entrants start living on pavements and thatched huts. That way slum come up, at times, adjacent to or right in the middle of posh colonies.
Migration of the poor to cities creates slums. Cultivable land in villages is limited. And it is not enough to support the landless labourers in the village. Instead of starving in villages, they along with their women folk move on to cities in search of employment. While men work as unskilled works, their women get work in households. World found, they build juggles that later become a cluster of huts.
Landless labourers are also attracted to cities as there have many factories where mill hands are needed. Later, these factory workers cal their relatives and friends from their villages. Thus cities start expanding haphazardly.
Spread of education in villages is also responsible for migration c rural people to urban areas. Once a person in a village crosses the matriculation level, the agricultural profession does not interest him. He is on the lookout for an office job and hence the migration.
City Life has its own charm. We have sprawling bungalow multistory buildings, clubs, cinemas, theatres and other places entertainment and employment. Villagers start enjoying city life. The send money to their parents and elders regularly. At times they get lost the hustle and bustle of city life.
The slums in the capital and metro cities are getting larger and larger—with more migrants coming in. Basic amenities like electricity, potable water, toilets may be lacking in slums and there is no drainage. Heaps of garbage is found here and there. Hygienic conditions are not there-thus slum dweller fall easy prey to diseases like cholera, malaria, jaundice. During the rainy season, it is real hell for slum dwellers.
Government is conscious of the deplorable conditions in which slum dwellers live. Basic necessities have to be provided to more than one crore- slum dweller in different urban areas in the country. This scheme is part of the minimum needs programme. The National Council for Applied Economic Research has been given the task of assessing the impact of slums improvement on the lives of slum dwellers.
The main difficulty faced by government is that the slum dwellers that are provided alternative accommodation sell away these at fancy prices and are back to form new slums wherever possible.
The best way to deal with the problem of slums in cities would be to stop migration of landless labourer from rural to urban areas by providing employment avenues in villages. Different labour intensive industries can be started in villages. Small-scale industries, with loan facilities, can be established for educated rural youth. Better living facilities are provided so that city life no longer holds charm. The migration ceased, there will be no reason for slum to come up.
What are slums? They are the homes of the poor and their families, and provide the minimum shelter to the people. It has been noticed that, slums are mostly found on the outskirts of all big towns. This was the position when they started coming up but now, we find slums right in the hearts of towns and specially the big towns.
This fact of the increasing population of slums needs to be thought about and analysed. Let us analyse as to why slums are found just near all posh colonies of all the big towns. Every big town has, on the one hand five star hotels with their accompanying prosperity, and, on the other hand, there are huge slum colonies also popularly known as Jhuggi Clusters.
The reason for their existence mostly near the colonies of the elite, is not far to seek. Who are these slum dwellers? Why are they here? These slum dwellers are mostly people who work for the affluent class, they are working in the homes, cleaning cars etc.
They are labourers and other workers like rickshaw pullers, scooter drivers etc. The reason for their being here in big towns is that, they come here in search of greener pastures or rather in search of some jobs. Since the big towns offer more opportunities they throng here, and also do get the required work.
Once they get work, they obviously get settled in homes in the form of slums. With several people of this category coming to big towns for work gives birth to a number of slum colonies - and all are near their place of work that is near the posh colonies.
Another big chunk of a population of this category is the construction workers. With the expansion of construction activities in the big towns, these workers come and gather here, and then stay put in slums. With an enormous potential in getting work in construction work people from neighboring areas come to towns and get settled.
Thus we can see that, slums develop in the course of time as people come to towns in search of occupation, and once they get the desired work they get settled here and cause a nuisance to the affluent. However, let us remember they are all the time working for the affluent gentry either in their homes or in making homes for them.
It is such a pity to realise that, though they are working all the time for the affluent class, for the rich metro dwellers, their residence in the vicinity close to the rich is objectionable for the rich.
Let us realise that, if the slum dwellers are there to work for us, they have to be near us - so, if we want them to work for us, we have to accept their presence also. However, the cause of the objection is also not quite wrong.
These slums in the nearby areas are a cause of a lot of pollution and thus result in health hazards. Since they have no place to bathe, go to the toilet, wash their clothes, all this daily work is done in the open causing inconvenience to the residents of the areas.
Besides this, the presence of slums near by the colony, make the colony look ugly and dirty, which is why they are an objectionable lot. Since this class is mainly of the menial class, their presence so near the affluent is enough cause of worry in regard to crime.
Their presence thus poses a problem of security for the colonies. Criminals of all hues and colours find heaven in the slums, and are a constant source of worry for the inmates of colonies. With the slums rising in numbers the population graph of these cities and towns also becomes unmanageable.
They also need the basics of water and electricity, these become a scarce commodity in towns for the permanent dwellers. Everything is in short supply as, the amount available is to be shared with these slum dwellers. This, in turn is because the cities and towns were originally not planned for the huge exodus into the original towns.
Thus, slums destroy the scenario of towns and also add to the innumerable problems that already exist. The calm and quiet existence of the areas is lost to the dirty and noisy appearance of the slums.
However, at the same time if slums are removed and slum dwellers vanish, where will the so- called big people get their workers from? Let us ponder upon this aspect and allow them their poor existence - and that also for our own sake.
The only thing that can be done to improve the scene is, to teach them to be neat and clean and more disciplined. If they live as neat and disciplined citizens there should not be much of a problem.