We were inside discussing the mammoth Indian elections that concluded recently with the final results announced on May 23, 2019. Results reveal that the ruling BJP has won a decisive majority under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi and BJP is about to commence its second term on a robust and confident note.
This rare feat of attaining a majority in two consecutive parliaments (16th and 17th) indicates that India is moving towards at least half a decade of stable political climate. This stability augurs well for Indian voters as the ruling party can forge ahead with its development and growth plans aimed at Indian voters. One major issue that plagues Indian landscape is the uncontrolled spread of urban slums and terrible living conditions that these slum dwellers have to undergo daily.
New Delhi, the capital of India, is dotted with hundreds of such slums, where migrant, manual labourers and itinerant traders have occupied small parcels of land in plush locations. One dwelling unit attracted another, and so on. Now such slums have even grown to the sizes of some 250-500 small dwelling units. Slowly entire families have migrated and now dwell along with the major bread earner of the family.
In many cases, even kith and kin join the crowd, and once they are on their own, they also squeeze in a dwelling unit, which soon swells with more people. Soon the dependence of plush house owners becomes apparent on such urban slums as females of such slums work as maidservants; males contribute to local transportation as rickshaw pullers, e-rickshaw drivers or as labour help earning low wages.
Some traders in these slums open up small shops to cater to the low-end needs of slum dwellers. The average living space available to each slum dwelling family is estimated to be as low as 40-50 square feet or even lower, in which up to 6-7 persons live. There is no space to build a toilet or a bathing area in such cramped units. The result is that the bathing area is common where one can witness up to 25-30 women and men taking group baths, all vying for scarce water supply (primarily coming through tankers from the local government).
In the summer, this can turn into a chaotic scene with water coming in after long waits. Drawing in potable water for the day can also become a hard task for such dwellers. Then, shockingly 3000-4000 slum dwellers have no place to defecate, and they do it in nearby footpaths, and public grounds (if available) and plush homeowners nearby are quite unmindful of the severe sanitary conditions in their neighbourhood. They are after all getting the supply of maidservants and male labour (car cleaners, home servants, etc.) from such slums.
The three to four feet wide rows serve as roads in these slums and are mostly mud based. In the rainy season, slush, dirt and stagnant water become breeding grounds for mosquitoes, house flies and other infestations causing serious health concerns.
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