Premium - Gist of The Hindu: January 2014
ARE WE LIVING IN A SLUM ERA
Newly released census data shows families living in slums
have a far better child sex ratio than the urban Indian average. Over a third of
India’s slum-dwellers live in unrecognised slums. Over 65 million people lived
in slums in 2011, up by 25 per cent from 52 million in 2001, but slum
populations have grown slower than the average urban population over the last
decade. The average household living in a slum is no larger than an average
urban Indian household, with 4.7 family members. The child sex ratio (0-6 years)
of an average slum household is 922 girls for every 1,000 boys, compared to 905
for urban India.
Scheduled Castes (SCs) are over-represented in slums, with
one out of every 5 slums residents belonging to SC, compared to just over one
out of 10 for urban India as a whole. The proportion of SCs living in slums has
risen over the last decade. They have far better sex ratios than other urban
The literacy rate in slums is now up to 77.7% but still lags
behind the urban average. Both men and women living in slums participate at a
higher rate in the workforce than the urban average, even though fewer have
employment through the year.
The census defines a slum as “residential areas where
dwellings are unfit for human habitation” because they are dilapidated, cramped,
poorly ventilated, unclean, or “any combination of these factors which are
detrimental to the safety and health” and covers all 4,041 statutory towns in
For the latest round, the census designated slums in three
different ways — notified, recognised and identified. While the first two are
designated as slums by some official authority, identified slums do not have
legal status as a slum, but must consist of at least 60-70 tenements with at
least 300 people. The data shows that of the three types, identified slums have
the largest subset of slum population, indicating that over a third of India’s
official slum population does not have official status as a slum, or access to
legal protection and municipal services.
With over 11 million of its residents in slums, Maharashtra
has the highest slum population; 4.6 million of them in ‘identified’ slums.
Andhra Pradesh follows with over 10 million in slums, and West Bengal and Uttar
Pradesh have over 6 million slum residents each. Over 1 million of Delhi’s 1.7
million slum residents live in ‘identified’ slums.
RAY OF HOPE FOR INFERTILE WOMEN
FINDINGS OF WORLD TOILET SUMMIT
Lack of public toilets and open defecation were among issues
highlighted at the World Toilet Summit that opened in Indonesia on Wednesday.
Worldwide, 2.5 billion people have no access to toilets and sewage systems. One
million children die each year from diarrhoea, as many as from AIDS, measles and
malaria combined, according the United Nations. At the three-day summit in the
Central Java city of Solo, speakers will talk about how to clean, repair and
maintain toilets as well as the designs of public restrooms.
Jack Sim, a Singaporean who founded the World Toilet
Organisation in 2001, said the theme for the summit this year is “toilets and
tourism.” “Without good toilets, tourism can’t thrive,” he said. “Toilets are
part of the holiday experience.” — DPA.