India is becoming increasingly urban, but simultaneously the number of the urban poor is also increasing. Discuss the problems that the urban poor face. Also, discuss the measures that can be taken to face this challenge.

India is one of the fastest developing countries in the world. Urban areas have contributed most to this development. 31 % of the Indian population lives in urban areas. However, most of our urban population is poor and not well educated or skilled, and the population of such people is also rising.

The reasons are:

  • Lack of employment opportunities. Most of the people are employed on low wages and in the informal sector.
  • Lack of resources like land for migrants from rural areas.
  • Low floor index in India. It makes land and housing very expensive, leading to the development of slums.
  • Poor provision of drinking water and sanitation facilities in slums.
  • The problem of alienation leads to several incidents of crime, anxiety, depression, etc.
  • Prone to natural hazards like flooding.
  • Education opportunities for children are not available. This leads to a vicious cycle of poverty. Children are often employed as beggars or in petty services.
  • Non-availability of social linkages for availing help in time of distress.

These conditions have led to their non-inclusion in the development process and many issues like increasing crime rate, depression, mortality, and morbidity.

Measures to improve the situation:

  • Compulsory education of Street and slum children under RTE Act
  • In still slum redevelopment with help of private sector under housing for all scheme.
  • Safe housing with basic provisions like water toilets, etc
  • skilling and reskilling of the workforce to increase employment in the manufacturing sector.
  • Promotion of self-employment.
  • These measures can go a long way in ensuring inclusive and sustainable urbanization in India.

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