Building self- sustain communities since 1973
Over 3,00,000 people survive on INR 40 or less in the city of Mumbai
Thursday 19th Jan, 2017, Mumbai (GPN) : Apnalaya, a non-profit organization, founded in 1973, working with the most marginalized people living in highly under-served slums of Mumbai, released a SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS REPORT titled ‘Life on the Margin: Charting Realities‘ based on a survey conducted across Shivaji Nagar in the M East ward of Mumbai.
The report highlights the case of suspended development in Shivaji Nagar, within the M-East ward of Mumbai. Conducted in 12 clusters of Shivaji Nagar through 2015-16, the survey was designed by Apnalaya to include several carefully selected parameters pertaining to the demographic, socio-economic, educational and health situation in the locality. It was undertaken, to both evaluate the availability of basic amenities and food security, and assess societal malpractices, like domestic violence and child abuse, and to aid in the planning of future programmes and initiatives.
Annabel Mehta, Apnalaya’s President and someone who has been working in Shivaji Nagar for close to five decades, posits that, “In over 40 years of working in slums in Mumbai we are seeing people living in worse conditions now than in the early years”. Corroborating her statement, this report not only highlights the appalling reality of Shivaji Nagar but is also a commentary on the lives of millions of people in Mumbai’s slums – 55% of the city’s total population – living in sub-human conditions.
Speaking on this, Dr. Arun Kumar, CEO Apnayala said,“Given the ill preparedness of our cities to ‘absorb’ the migrating millions, the pace of urbanization in India is quite alarming. A few facts needed to be uncovered such as the average income in Shivaji Nagar, which is INR 7,800. What is even more disturbing is that nearly 50% – that is 3,00,000 residents – live in households that subsist on mere INR 6,000 or less, which amounts to INR 40 or less per day per person. Juxtapose this with the fact that only 64% families in Shivaji Nagarhave a ration card, clearly implying that about 2,10,000 people, do not have ration cards and, therefore no access to government food assistance through the Public Distribution System”.
It is noteworthy to mention that Shivaji Nagar has no nationalised bank and the entire population is dependent on two cooperative banks and therefore remain largely off the radar of financial inclusion in one of the biggest commercial metropolis of the country.
Among the other findings in the report, there are a few that require immediate address such as, almost every second child being underweight and more than half of the children being stunted, or, that 29% of children in the age group of 6 to 14 – the right to education years – are out of school. Mrs. Mehta’s anxiety seems pointed when she asks, “What are we doing for our children, the present and the future of India, if we can’t even provide secondary schools for them?”
However, one of the positive findings from the Situation Analysis Report is about how young the population in Shivaji Nagar is. The average age of people living in Shivaji Nagar is 22.3 years; 47% of its population is below 18 years. This means an opportunity to educate and skill a vast number of young people who might help their parents break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and marginalization. Apnalaya’s Situation Analysis Report is an effort aimed at strengthening the need for integrated and sustainable community development backed by right and relevant information, just as any claim requires the support of evidence.
Thomas Chandy, CEO, Save the Children, the Keynote Speaker at the release of this report sums up the inadequacies highlighted, as he says, “The problems of urban children are a national problem, and must be addressed nationally and in a SMART city like Mumbai the planning must address the issues and needs of the urban poor”.
v No secondary Municipal school – in spite of the fact that about 50% of the population is less than 20 years’ old
o Males –nearly every second male is unemployed
o Females –only 1 out of 7 women are in paid work
v Casual Labour (of those who are employed)
o Males – 62.8%
v Households with at least one person with a bank account – 59%, leaving 31% of households with no bank account and therefore out of the formal system of financial inclusion
v Number of banks in Shivaji Nagar
§ Nationalized Banks: 0
§ Cooperative Banks – 2
v Out-of-school children in the age group of 6-14, the RTE years, is close to 30%
v Age at marriage – 38% girls are married before they are 18 years old.