Almost three out of five people in Bombay live in slums and there are wide disparities between the conditions of life people lead in the slums and non-slums. People living in slums suffer from cumulative deprivations: poor health, low literacy levels, inadequate housing and lack of access to civic amenities like water and sanitation. Slums are often neglected by the government and basic infrastructure in terms of schools, hospitals, garbage disposal facilities and public toilets are conspicuous by their absence. Living in hazardous conditions with little security of shelter, the difficulties of most of the residents of the slum population is exacerbated by the poor economic conditions of their families, and this a crucial reason why the urban poor are unable to cope up with the high cost of living in a metropolis like Bombay.
A measure of the quality of life people lead in Bombay can be estimated by the Human Development Index (HDI) – a statistic that incorporates the economic, educational and health conditions of people. Dr Sangita Kamdar, professor at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), one of Bombay’s premier management institute has estimated the HDI scores for each ward in Bombay. (Bombay’s average score is 0.56). It is interesting to note that the wards which have lower than average HDI scores have a high slum population and such wards are mainly concentrated in the eastern suburbs.
The following table presents the HDI scores of various wards in Bombay:
Here’s a visual for that presents an overview of the situation: