It’s a tag that no city would like to earn. Unicef’s annual State of the World’s Children report has revealed that Mumbai has topped the list of cities that are home to a maximum number of slumdwellers in India.
The report with the theme 'Children in Urban World', released reveals that India is home to over to 50,000 slums, of which 70 percent are concentrated in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Gujarat.
"Nearly 70 percent of the slum population is concentrated in Maharashtra (35 percent), Andhra Pradesh (11 percent), West Bengal (10 percent), Tamil Nadu and Gujarat (7 percent each)," read the report.
"According to Census 2011, urban population in India is around 377 million (nearly 30 percent). By 2026, this will grow up to 40 percent — totalling to an estimated 535 million people — who will be living in towns and cities," the report said.
Of the 377 million, around 97 million are below poverty line, says the Unicef report, referring to the figures given by the Planning Commission.
Cities have, for years, been assumed to be “romantic” due to the employment opportunities they harbour. Moving out to the cities provides most a flight of imagination too which lends them the much-required fodder for entrepreneurship. But, concurrently, urban areas tend to be adopted by those who are known as ‘nowhere people’. This category works at our homes, lives in a nearby vicinity and has been displaced from his/her own home. Considering the kind of pressure the slum population place on the ever-depleting resources of the city, an imminent solution is needed more now than ever.
Now, nearly 60 per cent of Mumbai’s slum population lives on eight percent of land. And, with sanitation conditions, health facilities, infant mortality rate (IMR) being dismal, we’re looking at a very poor future in the years to follow. Ministry of housing and poverty alleviation statistics reveal that nearly 93 million people inhabit slums in India.