The changing face of the Indian slum

Separate dustbins for dry and wet waste installed by BBMP at various points in Bangalore. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

The 2011 census defined slums as "residential areas where dwellings are unfit for human habitation". It estimated there were 1.37 crore households (17.4% of urban Indian households) living in slums. In absolute terms, the population in slums is projected to increase from 93.1 million in 2001 to 104.7 million in 2017.

The stories about the number and the squalor are familiar. But what about the dreams and aspirations of the people who live here? And the changes in the lifestyle and outlook in the little shanties across urban India. In this 12-part series, that is anchored by Anuradha Raman, we track the changing face of the Indian slum, chronicling stories of new social and economic trends in our impoverished neighbourhoods. Over the days, you will be introduced to entrepreneurs, singers, composers, boxers, sailers and more. We start with a narrative from Bengaluru, where a bunch of women have organised themselves to launch a waste management start-up and, in doing, take charge of their lives.

RTI, RTE and rising aspirations

In a sign of change, mothers wage a relentless battle to get their children admission to the seats reserved for the poor in private schools.

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Gyan Azhar’s diligent pupils

Girl students who cannot afford books take refuge in this library to pursue studies.

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Driving through sunrise boulevard

Taxi-hailing apps are changing lifestyles in the slums of Bengaluru. Many of the poor are now in the driver’s seat..

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The 3D vision of Cheeta Camp

Design, dignity and development — a vision developed by the people, disappointed by the civic body’s development plan.

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A silicon tide lifts many boats

Learning computers changes mindsets, as the young in this pocket near a Bengaluru IT hub show in building a better life.

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Dancing away from drugs

Children of Sarai Kale Khan slum in Delhi pirouette to a life free of substance abuse by joining a troupe.

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Behind the beautiful forevers

In informal settlements, a clean toilet is like sunshine. Mahila Milan has built over a hundred of them in Mumbai.

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Kidderpore's knockout kids

Girls and boys in the Kolkata neighbourhood, who find higher education out of reach, chase dreams in the boxing ring.

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Soul music, the graveyard shift

'Gaana' has spread far from north Chennai neighbourhoods to win fame in Tamil film music for its lilting outpouring of emotions.

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Bobbing and weaving at Rasoolpura

The slum is a nursery of sporting talent, and it’s in boxing that many of the youngsters show their punch.

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Sinews of a a Delhi Basti

A gym becomes an agent of change in a South Delhi slum, keeping young men out of drugs and crime and providing women a meeting point out of the confines of home

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The garbage aggregators

A narrative from Bengaluru, where a bunch of women have organised themselves to launch a waste management start-up and, in doing, take charge of their lives.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 1:38:54 PM |

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