In India, a little over 28.5 crore people live in urban areas, out of which around, 4.06 crore i.e. 22. 8% of the urban population live in notified slums in 607 cities and towns. The percentage of the population living in slums has increased from 17. 5% in 1981 to 27 % in 2011. The living conditions in areas inhabited by the poor, especially in slums and squaller settlements are a matter of concern. Almost 10-12% structures in urban areas were dilapidated and required immediate major repairs. For poor migrants, especially in cities like Delhi, housing remains a distant dream.
The influx of people from rural to urban areas has been motivated by number of factors including better employment opportunities, income, education of their children and sometimes an escape from the harsh caste based environment and money lenders. On reaching cities, they are welcomed by the harsh realities of urban life where they have to sleep on pavements, live on meagre incomes, face insecure and unhealthy situations. Pale and frail faces of the poor especially women and children living in these areas are a naked pointer to the fact that they lack healthy & safe shelter. Lack of permanent shelters or a house also deeply impacts their health, children’s education and leaves them scarred for life.
Various schemes on social housing/housing for urban poor have been initiated and implemented by Central, State and Municipal Corporations in the country. City corporations have begun associating with NGOs to successfully implement social housing plans. Pune is one city that has shown a way to include the urban poor in all its development plans. It envisages a Slum Free city in which every citizen has access to basic civic infrastructure, social amenities and decent shelter. MASHAL, a Pune based NGO has been associated with Pune Municipal Corporation for planning and executing social housing schemes for the poor which has now become a successful model worth emulating.
This Annual lecture will be a platform for all of us to understand successful and effective housing schemes for urban poor in the country. It will also enlighten us in designing housing policies and schemes accessible and affordable to urban poor in Delhi and other major cities.
The event shall also have the presence of Commissioners from Pune, Delhi, Varanasi and Chennai Municipal Corporations, members of Delhi Development Authority, eminent engineers, architects and key experts who have been working on Social Housing and Affordable Housing projects.