A slum, as defined by the United Nations agency UN-Habitat, is a run-down area of a city characterized by substandard housing, squalor, and lacking in tenure security. According to the United Nations, the percentage of urban dwellers living in slums decreased from 47 percent to 37 percent in the developing world between 1990 and 2005. However, due to rising population, and the rise especially in urban populations, the number of slum dwellers is rising. One billion people worldwide live in slums and the figure is projected to grow to 2 billion by 2030. The term has traditionally referred to housing areas that were once relatively affluent but which deteriorated as the original dwellers moved on to newer and better parts of the city, but has come to include the vast informal settlements found in cities in the developing world. Although their characteristics vary between geographic regions, they are usually inhabited by the very poor or socially disadvantaged. Slum buildings vary from simple shacks to permanent and well-maintained structures. Most slums lack clean water, electricity, sanitation and other basic services. The rising phenomenon of slum tourism has western tourists paying to take guided tours of slums. This tourism niche is operating in almost all major slums around the world, including in Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, Kibera, and Jakarta. THE BIRTH OF SLUMS
Historically, slums have grown in Bombay as a response to a growth of population far beyond the capacity of existing housing. Migrants are normally drawn to the city by the huge disparity between urban and rural income levels. Usually the residents of these densely populated enclaves live close to their place of work. The residential area itself does not provide employment. Bombay knows another reason for the formation of slums. As the city grew, it took over land that was traditionally used for other purposes.
The Koli fishermen were displaced during the development of the harbour and port. Those driven out of the fishing villages improvised living space that was often far shabbier than before. This process continues even now, at the end of the 20th century. On the other hand, some villages were encysted by the city growing around them. Dharavi, originally a village with a small tanning industry, has become a slum in this fashion. Many of the older slums in Byculla and Khar were initially separate villages, with their own traditional industries. Poverty, crime, dirtiness, increasing pollution, increasing black spot, increase in illegal business, increase in prostitution, increase in women crime, increase in drug trafficking, increase in child labor and abuse, increase in diseases, increase in AIDS, increase in slums, pollution, and this is only 1% of problems these slums have. 1. DHARAVI SLUM IN MUMBAI, INDIA
Mumbai slum Dharvi in India is the biggest in the world as well in Asia. .It is located between Mumbai`s two main suburban railway lines the Western and Central Railways. Poverty, crime, dirtiness, increasing population, increasing black spot on INDIA and especially on Mumbai, increase in illegal business, increase in prostitution, increase in women crimes, increase in drug trafficking, increase in child labor and abuse, increase in diseases, increase in AIDS, increase in SLUMS across Mumbai – This is just 1% of problems it has this place. 2. ORANGI TOWN, PAKISTAN
The population of Orangi Town was estimated to be more than 720,000 at the 1998 census. It could be the largest slum in Asia, possibly surpassing Mumbai’s Dharavi in terms of population, although Orangi’s 720,000 people inhabit 22 square miles, while Dharavi’s 600,000-1,000,000 inhabit 0.67 square miles. Most of the stories about this place you will find is about the crimes happening there, this is not a place which you wanna visit. 3. KIBERA SLUM, NAIROBI, AFRICA
Kibera is the largest slum in Nairobi, and the second largest urban slum in Africa. Until recently, Kibera had no water, so you may imagine what kind of problems they had there. In the 21st century people were dying from cholera. Changaa is cheap alcoholic b rew. It is widely available, very strong (over 50% alcohol) and made incorrectly, so is usually very high in Methanol. Cheap drugs and glue sniffing are an increasing problem. Initially taken to alleviate boredom but then people find themselves hooked. A big challenge to the charities! Life here is not a walk through the park. 4. RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
The cocaine trade has affected Brazil and in turn its favelas, which tend to be ruled by drug lords. Regular shoot-outs between traffickers and police and other criminals, as well as assorted illegal activities, lead to murder rates in excess of 40 per 100,000 inhabitants in the city of Rio and much higher rates in some Rio favelas. It is said that until recently, there were parts of these favelas where police was not entering for more than 10 years, and now with the Olympics coming up in 2016, they are trying to clean up. It looks like police was a little bit brutal there. 5. KAMBWE, ZAMBIA, AFRICA
Kabwe, the second largest city in Zambia, has found itself on the top-ten of a new list of “the world’s worst polluted places” due to very high lead concentrations left over from previous mining operations. Average blood levels of lead among children in some townships are five to ten times the level considered dangerous. 6. DZERZHINSK, RUSSIA
It’s a special town that makes it into the Guinness Book of World Records as “The Most Chemically Polluted City in the World”. Dzerzhinsk currently holds this auspicious honor, and with good reason. During the years of the Cold War Dzerzhinsk was a secret city pumping out massive quantities of deadly chemical weapons for the Soviet Union.The city is no longer secret, and the Soviet Union has fallen, but several factories still produce toxic chemicals and the people live with the legacy of pollution that is left. 7. MAGADISHU, SOMALIA
The city of Mogadishu in Somalia has been devastated by years of conflict, and hundreds of thousands of people have fled the city. Most of the people here are starving and waiting for food from some organizations. 8. LINFEN, CHINA, ASIA
Located in the Shanxi province in China this city is the worst city when we are talking about pollution. There are three million people living here. It is not easy to be here, health conditions are on the minimum and not to mention that they are doomed to be here, because you’ll need money to get away from here.
9. BASSAC APARTMENTS, CAMBODIA
Bassac apartments was one of the architectural jewels of Cambodia, the innovative apartment complex designed in the early 1960s by Lu Ban Hap. Now it is a crumbling ruin inhabited by squatters. The prospects for this community have triggered more concerns. 10. CUBATAO, SAO PAOLO, BRAZIL
Cubatão was one of the most polluted cities in the world, nicknamed “Valley of Death”, due to births of brainless children and respiratory, hepatic and blood illnesses. High air pollution was killing forest over hills around the city. It’s a rich town with a poor population. It was ranked the top ten dirtiest cities in the world by Popular Science. MUMBAI: Dharavi, spread over 557 acres and housing nearly three lakh people, is no longer Asia’s largest slum. Mumbai has at least four larger contenders for the dubious distinction, some of them three times the size of Dharavi. Though, the island city is now largely free of slums. The erstwhile smaller slums in the suburbs have metamorphosed into contiguous, larger slums. The Kurla-Ghatkopar belt, the Mankhurd-Govandi belt, the Yogi and Yeoor hill slopes stretching from Bhandup to Mulund flanking the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) on the east and Dindoshi on the western flank of the National Park have all eclipsed Dharavi. While the profile of the suburban slum sprawls is still to be established, the Mankhurd-Govandi slums that have sprung up at the base of the Deonar dumping ground are known as a “dumping ground” for the city’s poor.
It has the lowest human development index in the city and is constantly in the news for malnutrition deaths. Moreover, following earlier trends, the slums have come up on hill slopes and mud flats. The island city is largely clear of slums except on the fringes, like Dharavi in the north, Antop Hill in the east, Geeta Nagar and Ambedkar Nagar in the south and Worli village in the west. Since 2005, the BMC’s action against slumdwellers, as part of its road widening projects, seems to have had a transformative effect. Significant initiatives were the clearing of slums along Senapati Bapat Marg from Mahim to Elphinstone and P D’Mello road from the General Post Office, Mumbai CST, to Wadala. The exercise of mapping the slums was done by architect and civic activist P K Das, who has been involved with the rehabilitation and resettlement of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park slum-dwellers through the Nivara Hakk Sangharsh Samiti.
Data from the 2011 census shows there are 3.1 crore people in the island city and 9.3 crore in the suburbs, while nearly 78% of the city’s population lives in slums. Population density in the suburbs is the highest in the state, at 20,925 persons per sq km, whereas it is 20,038 person per sq km in the island city. Official sources said while the government wants to ensure housing for the urban poor, there are legal issues as the Slum Redevelopment Act mandates free housing for structures protected up to 1995. However, urban development officials attributed the lack of progress to the strong builders lobby opposed the scheme as the present SRA scheme ensured a profit of nearly 40%. CONCLUSION
Slums are as much a result of the flawed economic policies of the State as it is of the social structure of Indian society as it is also of the inequitable distribution of urban lands. The policy of slum evictions needs to be stopped and more viable and constitution-friendly solutions need to be envisaged. While the common notion that is held is that the slum dwellers are “illegal encroachers”, there needs to be a change in this perception is there is to be any policy in favour of slum dwellers. There needs to be a recognition of the fact that no slum dweller chooses to live in squalor and in unhygienic conditions but is doing so out of compulsion and due to the lack of decent affordable housing options. It also needs to be understood that in evicting slum dwellers and in denying them decent shelter, living conditions, options for economic mobility, food security, access to basic civic amenities, voting rights, education, health services, etc. the government is violating their fundamental rights.