Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The Slums in Mumbai and the shanty towns

Wiki says:

Shanty towns (also called squatter settlements camps, favelas or Georgie Slums) are settlements (sometimes illegal or unauthorized) of impoverished people who live in improvised dwellings made from scrap plywood, corrugated metal, and sheets of plastic. Shanty towns are mostly found in developing nations, or partially developed nations with an unequal distribution of wealth (or, on occasion, developed countries in a severe recession). In extreme cases, shanty towns have populations approaching that of a city.

The first recorded use of the word shanty, as meaning a crude dwelling.

There is a near total absence of formal street grids, numbered streets, sanitation networks, electricity and telephones. Shanty towns also tend to lack basic services present in more formally organized settlements, including policing, medical services, and fire fighting. Fires are a particular danger for shanty towns because of the close proximity of buildings and flammability of materials used in construction.

Stereotypes present shanty towns as inevitably having high rates of crime, suicide, drug use, and disease. However the observer Georg Gerster has noted (with specific reference to the invasões of Brasilia), "squatter settlements [as opposed to slums], despite their unattractive building materials, may also be places of hope, scenes of a counter-culture, with an encouraging potential for change and a strong upward impetus."

The largest shanty town in the world is the Neza-Chalco-Itza barrio in Mexico. The largest shanty town in Asia is the Orangi Township in Karachi, Pakistan. while the largest in Africa is Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. Another large shanty town is Dharavi in Mumbai, India which houses over 1 million people.


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