I was travelling with a friend in Delhi one day when we came across a slum, sitting on the side of a road. He instantly, like many other people (me included), remarked:
“Slums should be razed into the ground with bulldozers. These dirty people give a bad name to Delhi.”
That immediately, somehow, got me thinking whether these slums were just an unnecessary bane to a city. Slums in India are notoriously known to be hubs of illegal activities. Most of these slums are built on encroached lands. In fact, builders and contractors use slums to encroach land illegally. Black marketing, smuggling, drugs, etc. and other vices are are a way of life in many of these slums.
Luckily, I am associated with a small town hospital where plenty of slum dwellers come for treatment. I asked him why he lived in a slum in a big city instead of living a healthy life in a small village. His answer was simple – there are more economic opportunities in cities than in villages. A job in a city tends of pay more than a job in a village.
I did some research to try and see whether this was indeed true. I came across the census of India website and what I was found was rather shocking. Here’s a nifty info graphic which talks about some of the positive aspects of slums and why they are hubs of hope and growth for the urban poor. Please like and share the infographic with as many people as possible to spread awareness about them and how they need to be better managed.
What do you think? Should people from villages and small towns migrate to big cities in search of better paying opportunities, even if it means living in a crummy little shack?