Harmful impacts of slums on society and people living in it
The rapid urbanization in conjugation with industrialization has resulted in the growth of slums. As we have discussed in previous post that how the shortage of land for housing, the high prices of land beyond the reach of urban poor and a large influx of rural migrants to the cities fuelling the development of slums. These slums give rise to many problems in the urban areas. The major problems of slums in India are as follows:-
Shortage of space: About 77.6% of the urban dwellers in Mumbai reside in one room and lakhs of them sleeps on the footpath. About 62% of the households of the metropolis reside in these slums. This give rise to the problem of shortage of space.
Prone to natural and man-made hazards: As in slums, houses are crammed in a little space, they are often prone to dangerous hazards like floods, water logging, fire etc. Extent of hazard is increased because of high population density. The slum areas of Delhi specially Yamuna-Pushta are affected by flood-water of Yamuna every year. The Kutcha houses of slums frequently catches fire in summer.
Poor living conditions: Slums are not planned hence they lack basic amenities. Slums have invariably extreme unhygienic conditions. There are no toilets and people defecate in open. Slums have practically no drainage. Most of the slums are located near drains which contain filthy stagnant water.
Health hazards: The poor living condition in slums affects the health of people mentally and physically. Water contamination cause disease like blood dysentery, diarrhoea, malaria, typhoid, jaundice etc. Children with bloated bellies or famished skeletons, many suffering from polio, are common sight. People are not aware of health problems.
Social problems: Socially, slums remain isolated from rest of the urban society and exhibit pathological social symptoms like drug abuse, alcoholism, crime, vandalism and other deviant behavior. The lack of integration of slum inhabitants into urban life reflects both, the lack ability and culture barriers.