Thursday, 3 October 2013

33% of slum population lives without basic facilities

No. Of Towns With Shanties Went Up From 1,743 In 2001 To 2,613 In 2011

Rema Nagarajan TIG 

    Over a third of the slum population in India lives without any basic facility being provided by the state as the slums are not recognized. In case of states like Rajasthan, Gujarat and Bihar, the entire slum population of several lakhs remains unrecognized by the state governments. 
    For the first time, the census data on slums identified slum dwellers as the people living in compact areas with a population of at least 300, in unhygienic environment with inadequate infrastructure and lacking proper sanitary and drinking water facilities. Earlier, only people in areas notified or recognized as slums by state or local authorities were counted. 

    With the new method, several states — Haryana, Delhi, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand — have identified more slum dwellers in such areas than in the notified or recognized slums. 
    In fact, the number of towns having slums has gone up from 1,743 in 2001 to 2,613 in 2011, out of a total of 4,041 towns in India. 
    The proportion of slum population to urban population has fallen slightly with the slum population growing at a slower pace than urban areas as a whole. There also
isn’t any difference in the household size of urban areas and slums any more — about 4.7 — with slums showing a higher reduction in family size. 
    The literacy rate in slums too has gone up to 78% compared to the overall urban literacy of over 84%. The jump in female literacy in slums (from 63% to 72%) is higher than that in male literacy 
from 80% to 84%. However, the literacy rate is lower than 70% in slums in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. 
    About one in five persons in a slum is from the scheduled caste, a share that has increased in the last one decade. However, the proportion of SCs in the overall urban population is just 12.6% or 
about one in eight persons. The share of scheduled tribes in urban population has increased to about 3% just as it has in slums, where it is a little higher than 3%. 
    However, interestingly, the work participation rate in slums is just slightly higher (36%) compared to the urban rate of 35%. However, the work participation of women in slums is almost 2% higher than in the urban population. 
    But more than two out of five women workers living in slums are marginal workers, who do not have employment throughout the year. 
    The southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Goa have among the highest work participation rates, about 40%, while Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana are among the worst. 

    Among the states, Maharashtra has the highest slum population of 1.18 crore followed by Andhra Pradesh (one crore plus), West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu (58 lakh). 
    However, as a proportion, the slum population in Maharashtra has shown the biggest reduction from 23% to 18%. A few states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Gujarat, too, have shown a marginal reduction in the proportion of slum population, though in most states the proportion has increased.

Source:::: The Times of India, 03-10-2013, p.13,

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