The word Slum—literally translating “Street of Poor People / Community of low-class / homeless population”. A dilapidated neighborhood where many people live in a state of poverty. The slum areas are, in general, separated from the main stream of city life. The socially backward and economically weaker sections of people particularly the low caste people are the inhabitants of these slums. They are exploited by the rich and high caste people and are treated inhumanly, even worse than animals. Slums are the manifestations of poverty and human struggle for shelter and security. The slum dwellers are mostly rural migrants who live near their workplaces, since they cannot afford high transportation costs. Generally, workers from the same community / same place obviously get settled in homes in the form of slums. With several people of this category coming to big towns for work gives birth to a number of slum colonies – and all are near their place of work that is near the posh colonies.
These slum dwellers are mostly people who work for the affluent class, they are working in the homes, cleaning cars etc. Since the big towns offer more opportunities they throng here, and also do get the required work. They are labourers and other workers like rickshaw pullers, scooter mechanics, construction workers, etc. Many slum dwellers employ themselves in the informal economy like street vending, drug dealing, domestic work, prostitution, vendors and hawkers etc.
Slums are often defined by:
Slums do not have:
Slums are worsening:
Poor housing settlement: - The houses are nothing but a single room tenement without the facilities of an open courtyard or an enclosure, thus depriving the people of natural gifts like sunshine and air. Some of the slum areas do not even have single rooms, they are thick clusters of small, dilapidated mud huts, the roofs and ceilings of which are made of scraps of wood, bamboo, straw, tin, plastic sheets, gunny sacks, metal or some sort of waste material. Sometimes, 10 to 12 people live, eat and sleep in the same room. The streets are narrow and the sewage water stagnates in open surface drains, which emit bad smell leads to recurrence of water-borne diseases like cholera, gastro-enteritis and jaundice. The children often play in places where the drains are used as open latrines. People in these areas where the provision of water, sanitation, garbage collec¬tion and health care is inadequate. Living conditions in many urban slums are worse than those in the poorest rural areas. Many of the most serious diseases are transmitted through air, water, soil and food or through insect or animal vectors. Around half the slum population is suffering from one or more of the diseases associated with inadequate provision of water and sanitation. Many slums are ignored by the authorities leads to the sense of helplessness to accept their situation and fall deeper into poverty.
“I lived in a small and dirty house. We didn’t have a toilet. We couldn’t help our children with money. Our children’s health suffered every day.” - shanthamma
Prone to natural and man-made hazards: As in slums, houses are crammed in a little space, they are often prone to dangerous hazards like floods, water logging, fire etc. Extent of hazard is increased because of high population density. The slum areas of srikakulam, Vizianagaram districts are often affected by flood-water of nagavali, vamshadhara every year. The Kutcha houses of slums frequently catches fire in summer.
Health hazards: The poor living condition in slums affects the health of people mentally and physically. Water contamination cause disease like blood dysentery, diarrhea, malaria, typhoid, jaundice etc. Children with bloated bellies or famished skeletons, many suffering from polio, are common sight. People are not aware of health problems.
Lack of water supply and sanitation facility: They lack safe drinking water and proper sewerage services. As a result both household waste and human generated wastes go directly or indirectly into the low living lands, open spaces or water bodies of the city and causes number of problems.
Women and Girls: Women and girls are not afforded time for education, as they are burdened with carrying water long distances and caring for sick family members. And, in slums with poor (or nonexistent) sanitation facilities, going to the toilet at night increases their risk of sexual assault.
Children: Due to extreme poverty, overcrowding, poor water and sanitation, substandard housing, limited access to basic health and education services, and other hardships (eg, high unemployment, violence) impact of slum life on the health of children and adolescents. Children suffer from higher rates of diarrhoeal and respiratory illness, malnutrition and have lower vaccination rates. Mothers residing in slums are more poorly educated and less likely to receive antenatal care and skilled birth assistance. Adolescents have earlier sexual debut and higher rates of HIV, and adopt risky behaviours influenced by their social environment. We also know little about the consequences of this form of early childhood on long-term health-related behaviour (eg, diet and exercise) and non-communicable disease outcomes, such as obesity, heart disease and mental illness. Child health in slums should be taken as an important priority.
Lack of Education: Families living in slums lack the crucial conditions they need to live decently and thrive as human beings. Social and cultural barriers deny children from slums the opportunity to receive an education. Many children never receive any formal education and few complete a primary education. Children are very often unable to do their homeworks due to leaks and the lack of available light and electricity. Therefore these children tend to perform much worse at school and their drop-out rates are much higher than anywhere else.
Social problems: Socially, slums remain isolated from rest of the urban society, characterized by urban decay, high rates of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and exhibit pathological social symptoms like drug abuse, alcoholism, crime, vandalism and other deviant behavior. The lack of integration of slum inhabitants into urban life reflects both, the lack ability and culture barriers.
A survey was conducted and the findings were summarized in a book named "HUMAN FACES OF THE SLUM PEOPLE. The characteristics of the slum area and its people are: 1) Low level of literacy, especially women education at low ebb. 2) Low standard of living / poor quality of life. 3) Low level of per-capita income; below poverty line. 4) High density of population, no family planning methods. 5) Lack of skill training; seasonal employment. 6) Low level of propensity to save 7) Mostly indebted with high rate of interest 8) Exploitation of low-caste people, especially women and children 9) Poor infrastructure facilities 10) Lack of leadership qualities 11) breeding grounds for social problems like crime, drug addiction, alcoholism etc.12) High rates of mental illness and suicide etc.13) Acute problem of malnutrition 14) Lack of drinking water 15) Lack of basic healthcare 16) Unsanitary and unary environment
Poverty is not ABSENCE of MONEY. Poverty is PRESENCE of HELPLESSNESS, VOICELESSNESS AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION.
HOPESSS aim to work with the urban poor to bring about long-term and sustainable transformation to their quality of life. HOPESSS aim to provide community-based healthcare, empowerment, financial inclusion, education and environmental improvements by training, resourcing and encouraging slum communities to receive and enjoy their basic human rights.
We believe that:
– All human beings are created in the image of God, and are of equal worth. Therefore the poor have the same inherent dignity, and rights that deserve our protection.
– Every person has a right to affordable healthcare that will allow the best possible chance of living a productive and fulfilling life.
– Every child has a right to an education that will give them the opportunity to reach their potential, earn a living and grow in self-esteem.
– Shelter, safe water and sanitation should be available to all, regardless of their background or status within society.
– Women have equal rights to those of men, and those rights should be protected by both men and other women.
– Communities working together are capable of achieving great change, and can influence others to also strive for change.
– The poor deserve the chance to improve their financial status and their quality of life, and to break free from the cycle of poverty.
HOPESSS always working to help more people living in slum areas by giving hopesss, by allowing them to realize their potential, regardless of their background, caste, religion beliefs etc. HOPESSS makes slums safer places to live by helping residents, get access to water, toilets, paved roads, street lighting and other amenities etc.
HOPESSS play a vital in the process of social transformation among the slum dwellers. To this end, Hopesss had -framed salient objectives basing on social awareness and economic emancipation.
Following is flow-chart of major sectors with which the objectives are inter-twined.
Investigation, Training and economic activity
Social Action & people's movement
Social Transformation & Social Justice
As "awareness" is the base for self -realization of one's status and potentiality, it provides insight for future vision and so it has to be created among the slum people. Awareness in every sphere of human life is to be built necessarily - in socio economic, political, cultural and education fronts.
Education has twin force to bring in a great change in the existing social order and economic status of the slum people. To develop minimum education as to enhance educational skill and leadership qualities of the slum people and their children.
To investigate and identify the traditional and potential skill of the slum people, to give training, to develop their skill and capabilities and to encourage small business, and self -employment.
Public participation is the base for social action and people's movement. With this instrument of solidarity and unity, people can achieve their legitimate demands. Hence initiate social action and formation of different associations for youth, women etc.
This necessitates to increase individual household income, to raise the standard of living of the slum people and attain equality of women groups at per with slum male-groups.
HOPESSS carry out the activities are not in the slum areas of srikakulam, vizianagaram towns, but also in rural areas. Because the so-called ideal, quiet and peaceful village life has now become the open-field for array of evils of illiteracy, poverty and population explosion. In order to stop these evils, HOPESSS play a greater role for the rural welfare and development.
Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of Human beings. – Nelson Mandela