Incredible India

Social Problems of Slums in India

Social Problems of Slums In India
Written by Banani Chakraborty

Social problems of slums in India are not so easy to describe in a small space. Because there are a lot of problems existing in the slums of India. Here, I am trying to say one, or two words about these problems.

In the first place, slums are one of the burning social problems of India. To overcome the worst situation, the Central Government should take various measures. The State Government will help to implement them properly. Both the Government should interact to eradicate the plight of the slum-dwellers all over India.

Slums In India

Source Google Image

Social Problems of Slums in India

In the first place, according to the 2011census, around 65 million among the Indian citizens were slum-dwellers.

In 2019, of course, this number has increased. Approximately 9.5% of India’s total population lives in slums. The number of slum dwellers is rising in these clean Indian cities.

This is due to the growing urbanization, and rising population. Consequently, the social problems of the slums of India also increased by leaps and bounds.


Before knowing the social problems of India, it is important to know the meaning of slum.

“a very poor and crowded area, especially of a city” (*Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary)

“a squalid and overcrowded urban street or district inhabited by very poor people”. ( Source: Oxford English Dictionary)

Most importantly, the word “slum” generally defines informal settlements in inadequate housing with miserable living conditions. In the first place, the meaning suggests social problems of slums in India.


A large number of Indian people are indeed slum dwellers. However, a few of the slums are going legally, whereas the majority of them are illegally flourishing in large pockets. Therefore, they are facing social problems in slums.

Moreover, the state of slum dwellers all over the country is indifferent. And their plight is horrible as well as miserable. Therefore, the social problems of slums in India are also different.

Visit any Indian slum area. You will come across heaps of garbages. Not only that, the hygiene is very poor. Added to these the drainage systems are horrible.

Besides, there is hardly any pure drinking water facilities. In the first place, they reside in small, suffocated and damp rooms. As a matter of fact, this aggravates the pitiable condition of the slum dwellers in India.

Moreover, basic requirements of life like clean and pure water, electricity and sanitation, etc. are lacking here.

In fact, here live mainly downtrodden families. They are rickshaw pullers and sex workers. Moreover, there live seasonal small vendors, house maidservants and etc.

They earn a meagre Rs.1500 to Rs.3000 per month. Most of these illiterate men have an addiction to country liquor. The women are mainly maidservant, sweepers or prostitutes.

They don’t have sufficient earning to save for their future. Also, they don’t have any health or life Insurance policies for themselves or their children.

To tell the truth, this very low income is a very vital reason for the social problems of slums in India. Added to this the slum population is growing rapidly.  It is almost doubling in the last two decades. Therefore, it is a burning problem.

List of Indian Cities Having Slums in India:

1) Dharavi in Mumbai. It is no.1 in India and no.3 in the world and is well-known.

2)Bhalswa in Delhi.

3) Basanti  in Kolkata

4) Nochikuppam in Chennai.

5)Saroj Nagar in Nagpur.

6)Mehbullahpur in Lucknow.

7)Indiramma Nagar in Hyderabad.

8)Rajendra Nagar in Bangalore.

9)Parivartan in Ahmedabad.

10)Satnami Nagar Bhopal.

All these known and unknown slums in India have similar social problems.

Health Problems as social problems of Slums in India:

Slums Problems

Source Google Image

Most importantly, the slum area possesses piled up garbage at every nook and corner. These waste particles emanate a bad odour. Added to this, it becomes a free zone for mosquitoes.

Moreover, the permanent stinking smell which prevails due to suffocated, damp and dirty rooms. It affects badly on the health of slum-dwellers.

Apart from this, poor and miserable sanitation amenities are common features of Indian slums. This also add to the health hazards of the dwellers.

As a result, these are worsening the social problems of slums in India.

Besides, there is hardly any good quality of drinking water available there. Therefore they drink contaminated water.

It adds to the health problem.

These extreme unhygienic situations lead to an outbreak of diseases in slums very often. Added to this, another major concern in the slums is open defecation.

Furthermore, they have hardly any sanitation or sewerage facilities available in their doorstep. Besides, there is the pressure of the over-crowded population.

Another major social problem of slums in India is illiteracy, particularly girl child education. As people are poor and illiterate, so they are unwilling to send their children to schools. Added to this, the children have to earn for their families.

The male thinks that the females and girl children are to serve various purposes of their family. Or, to be more precise, the females are only for the service of the male. Although, we know that educate girls can change our society. They will do all the household works along with earnings.

Therefore, they are prey to malnutrition. As a result, the children they give birth also face malnutrition. Moreover, there is hardly any family planning.

All these are social problems of slums in India.

Mosquitoes get an ideal breeding place due to filthy drains. They also help to contaminate water bodies in and around them. It also helps in spreading disease malaria, dengue, etc.

Deadly diseases like cholera, diarrhoea, malaria, gastrointestinal disorders, etc. are very common in slum areas.

Malnutrition is perhaps running in the blood of them. These people are also deprived of basic amenities like electricity and water.

Children, in general, living in slums hardly get bare necessities like healthy food, proper clothing, and minimum education. They are undernourished and grew up in danger.

Lack of cleanliness

look at the slum area. You will be surprised to find that there is hardly any sign of cleanliness whatsoever in any nook and corner of the slum arena.

You will easily notice piled up of garbage at slums. The roads are not cleared for many days.

Solutions to social Problems of Slums in India :

The central government has taken various welfare schemes and policies. These were as per the recommendations of the central policymakers. They update them from time to time. The sole purpose is to reach out to every Indian slum dwellers and eradicate their present miseries.

But unfortunately, a larger portion feels that they are left out from those benefits. However, the reluctance of the state government is a major factor of this.

There are a lot of complaints regarding the implementation of government policies to eradicate the miseries of slums dwellers. They are fighting against social problems of India.

It is said that the central schemes are unnecessarily delayed to be implemented at the state level.

The poor and distresses slum dwellers are the scapegoats.

Central government should take some fruitful checking policy in case of implementation of their policies.

Health Organizations should maintain a close check regularly for the cleanliness of slums. They should be very particular so that mosquito breeding is hampered and try to make it almost mosquito-free. This is a vital reason for the social problems of slums in India.

But, health officers hardly visit these slum areas. Only when an epidemic outbreak due to some contagious disease, the health officers, who are in charge, pay a visit to these slum areas.

In normal circumstances, they hardly visit to check the plight of the poor and the down-trodden slum people.

In Mumbai-home to the world’s third-largest slum by population, Dharavi-90% of deaths result from respiratory diseases, according to a survey by International Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai,

Slum-dwellers are not a puppet in the hands of political parties and leaders. Politicians must stop using them in their favour. Instead, they should seriously try to improve the social problems of slums in India.

Gone are those days when the leaders use and exploit them only at the time of election by giving false promise of development.

Days are changing. As a result, Societies are progressing.

Government and political parties should properly focus on the permanent development of the slums in India.

Lighting, sanitation, education particularly girls’ education, drinking water, brick-built house, medical treatment, etc, in a word, basic requirements, and amenities of life must have to be confirmed. All these must be improved for the progress of society as well as the country.

The government must set up basic infrastructures in the slum areas, as a step for developing social problems in slums. The slum dwellers have to maintain them properly.

To begin with, the central government should make the slum dwellers aware of family planning. They also educate them about the importance of it. Not only this but they also educate them about various family planning technique and methods. They also take the help of state governments. Moreover, they take help of various political parties along with various non-government organizations.

Moreover, the government must introduce necessary health check-up in the slums. Further, they should start a campaign for improvement. However, they will continuously carry on with these programs.  Additionally, they may take some other measures.

If there are serious with their efforts, only then the social problems of slums in India may improve.

The government must remember that the development of a country depends mainly on the betterment of the slums.

About the author

Banani Chakraborty


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