About slums of India there are a large number of a wide variety of legends and unverified rumors. The popular film “Slumdog Millionaire” drew the attention of the general public to Indian slums, which told the story of the life of a young man, a native of Mumbai bidonville . The public interest was immediately picked up by travel agencies, which began to offer special sightseeing tours in Indian slums. What are the real slums of India, who lives in them and how?
The general definition of slums and why do residential areas get such a status?
Slums have a scientific definition: the bidonville category includes a residential area with a high population concentration, buildings in which are characterized by spontaneity and lack of necessary for living infrastructure. Most often, slums and representatives of criminal structures live in slums. Slums are a phenomenon mainly associated with countries with warm climates, since cold climatic conditions make it impossible for a person to live in bidonville conditions.
A residential area falls into the category of slums if it does not have the following conditions:
1. No access to clean drinking water. Moreover, the total amount of water per inhabitant is taken into account.
2. Working sewer. A public toilet for several families is considered to be a characteristic feature of bidonville, since, according to UN experts, such a toilet does not meet the hygienic standards of a person’s living conditions.
3. Living rooms do not have enough space . In one room should not live more than 3 people.
4. The living space should not be combined with the working room.
5. Residents of the district should be the owners of their housing.
Most often, slums occur in cities where the standard of living of the majority of the population is below the average level, and the process of urbanization is proceeding too quickly.
Slums of Mumbai: features and secrets
Slums of the former Bombay are unique even in their location - because they are not at all out of the city, but directly adjacent to it central streets. There is no separation between the center and the bidonville: no gratings, no walls, or other types of fences. The outer perimeter of the slums is wide streets, but inside the canopy is a real maze of narrow streets and alleys.
How to travel to India without travel agencies, more details: To India on your own .
Slums of India have their own gradation on a religious basis: they are divided into the Muslim and Hindu parts, each of them has its own traditions and customs. In the slums there are houses built from sheets of plywood, iron and other improvised materials, and there are territories where the population of canedville lives under ordinary canopies made of fabric.
At the very beginning of the slums there are various workshops and handicraft workshops, a little further there are storage facilities, but residential quarters are “hiding” in the very depths of bin -ville. Guides often prohibit tourists from taking photographs, but the slum population itself can willingly pose for the camera, although it is best for residents to ask for permission to shoot. Conflicts over photo shoots usually occur when contacting Muslim women, so travelers should be careful and not be tactlessly obsessive.
Indian slums are unique in that there is no dirt in the residential quarters of bidonville , garbage and other signs of unsanitary conditions - all patios are cleaned, covered with dust and have enough space for the needs of the population. In the courtyards, slum dwellers usually wash, repair vehicles, and children play immediately.
In Mumbai slums not the poor people live - after all, not everyone can rent an apartment in bidonville for a year - it can cost about 10 thousand dollars a year . This price is due to the proximity of the slums to the business center of Mumbai. It is difficult for residents to escape from the slum because of too large families in which there are many women and children.
Production on the territory of slums
The production of various goods and household items is also located on the territory of Indian slums. Working conditions in such workshops and workshops located right on the streets are the most severe. This is especially true for plastic processing workshops: residents of canonville search for old plastic in landfills, then women and teenagers sort the collected material by color into separate boxes. Sorted plastic is subjected to washing and removal of dirt, stickers and other elements unnecessary in the further process. All work takes place directly in the streets, in the open. The plastic is crushed by hand, and this is rather hard physical labor and then it is sent for melting in a large vat. An unprepared person will experience significant discomfort from the smells prevailing in this production, not to mention the general health hazard from fumes.
About the features of the life of Indians the article will tell: How they live in India .
Even more severe conditions in the workshop for the disposal of containers from various oils. The smell of chemicals literally hangs over the street and breathing freely is almost impossible. People wash containers with chemicals with their bare hands, without protective equipment and convenient tools, and the average working day in such a workshop is 10 hours.
Lighter types of production on the territory of slums are cardboard processing, printing on fabric, pottery workshops and bakeries, a basket-making workshop.
A few words about the housing and living conditions in the slums of India
As mentioned above, residential areas of Indian slums are neat and cleanliness. The courtyards are quite spacious, and small rooms in homes often have a higher middle class decor. In some areas of the slums there is electricity and water; in some, residents do without electricity and produce water on their own. Inside the rooms there is always a place for bathing and a place for cooking. Most often, several people live in one room - at least five to six, but there are exceptions both to increase and decrease the number of residents.
There are schools inside residential areas, and organized at a fairly decent level, according to European education system. True, educational institutions are located directly on the streets of the slum.
There are shops in the slums and streets. Local shops and food are sold in the shops.
Slums of Mumbai. Dharavi, video: