Life is lived in common, but not in community.- Michael Harrington
Around two months back, I was coming from Ernakulum (city in Kerala) by Trivandrum rajdhani express to Hazrat Nizammuddin Station. I had a beautiful experience with hilly people of Munnar, tea aroma and the glamour of lulu mall at Ernakulum. I was all occupied with the beautiful memories I had there, unless my train reached the capital of our nation, New Delhi it all crashed down.
I see slums everywhere. In India we call these areas as the Jhuggis. They were all occupied near the railway tracks with piles of garbage and brackish water around. I wonder how these people are living there. I mean don’t they have the hygiene issues? Slums are the miserable reality of our country and many others across the world. More than a billion world inhabitants live in slums today and the numbers are hiking day by day.
I think within a slum, problems are diverse: living conditions are terrible, crime rate is high, sanitation is poor, child mortality is high, education rate is low and diseases are unbridled. But the situation has to be embarked upon and the issues have to be resolved.
Delhi suffers from pervasive poverty and unemployment, poor public health, and low educational standards for a large portion of its population, well over a million of whom live in rough and ready slums.
According to India Today’s report, Indian railways account, 6 lakh sq m of land has been illegally occupied by slum inhabitants across the metropolis. The worst affected areas are in North and North-West Delhi, which account for nearly half of the total encroached railway land. More than 24,000 jhuggis in 25 JJ clusters have been built in these two districts alone.
These are followed by areas in East, South and South-West Delhi, where nearly 18,000 jhuggis have been collectively raised over the years. The squatters have not even spared the New Delhi district, where two clusters with nearly 100 shanties have come up on railway’s land.
In Delhi, areas like Shakur Basti, Nizamuddin, Azad Colony, Wazirpur, Nangloi, Daya Basti, Zakhira, Tughlakabad, Seelampur and Shahdara are the worst affected. Thousands of slum residents have been living along the railway tracks for several years now.
I think the government along with the railway authority is making several efforts to evacuate these people away from the railway tracks. But the efforts are continuously failing because local government intervenes between the issues as they have to encash the votes from these slum dwellers.
I think there could be certain ways to prevent future slums. At least I am somebody that is in for this cause. Let us do this.