Source: Times of India
The well heeled may turn up their noses at slums abutting their condos, but a good one-third of respondents in a study across 50 Indian cities, acknowledge that they depend on services provided by those who inhabit these sprawls.
“Works undertaken by urban informal settlement (slum) dwellers are not replaceable since those are neither remunerative nor attractive for (others),” said the study conducted by Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) and Indicus Analytics on Economic Contributions of Urban Poor. It found that the slum population contributes 7.5% of the country’s urban gross domestic product.
However, about 50% of non-slum residents interviewed in the study felt that the negative role played by slum dwellers in urban life outweighed their positive contributions. About 42% felt these people should be resettled to make the city “clean and presentable”.
The study found the average monthly income of more than 41% of urban slum households was between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 while 25.6% of such households earn less than Rs 5,000. Majority of the earning population comprised selfemployed workers who earn more on average than those employed as casual workers or in regular wage jobs.
The survey covered about 5,350 households and about 24,500 individuals. The report highlighted the issues faced by slum dwellers, such as dependence on informal sources for loans and lack of essential services. It found that on average, expenditure on food was almost half the total monthly income of families in slums. Health, education and conveyance also have significant expenditure shares. Debt was common and penetration of banks and microfinance institutions was very low.