Alarming Condition Of The Slum Dwellers: A Case Study In Kharagpur City, West Bengal

The rapid growth of urbanization in India has brought in its wake, several problems. The growth of slums in cities is deteriorating the urban landscape and creating environmental crisis in the form of spread of diseases, ill- health, and malnutrition and making the city a center of crimes and other evils. The problem of slum growth is not only recognized in the metropolitan or million cities but also in the developing class I cities like Kharagpur. The slums have emerged like mushrooms in and around Kharagpur city, now being 297 in number. The life in Indian slums has not been hidden but I wanted to have a first hand experience as to what real life is like in those hell kind of conditions.  I choose to visit 96 Basti, Chandi Mandir, Sukantanagar slums has the highest percentage of population which is just a few kilometres away from prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, West Bengal. Kharagpur city is the fourth largest city and the fifth most populated city of West Bengal with a total population of  2,07,604 (2011) census located in south –western part of Paschim Medinipur District, West Bengal, a multi-cultural and industrial town. Dirty stagnant water, clogged drains, narrow lanes, cramped houses, heaps of garbage and strong stink are found here.

This all was very overwhelming as I found that thousands of eyes staring at me with suspicion as well as some rays of hope. But soon all of them are very friendly as they gathered around me sharing their grievances and how each & every single day for them is filled with so much struggle for small and basic things. Following problems are plaguing in 96 Basti, Chandi Mandir, Sukantanagar slum areas of Kharagpur City.

  1. Garbage & Filth: Dumps of garbage are found everywhere which emanate a nasty stagnant smell with an unpleasant and avoidable environment. Especially in the rainy season there was standing water everywhere, spreading all kinds of water borne diseases.
  2. Useless Toilets: The toilets are really in miserable conditions. Plenty of them have no doors and proper sewage.
  3. Deplorable condition of School: There was no water and electricity in School, toilet was not working and class furniture including fans were in shambles.
  4. Unemployment:Employment opportunities are less in these surveyed slum areas. Most of the slum dwellers are engaged in temporary private jobs and some business. Consumption of Alcohol, Gudakhu and Tobacco is found more.
  5. Slum-dwellers are suffering from Malnutrition: The main problem of nutrition lies between population growth and food production. Maximum people are labourers and jobless. Very low consumption of high nutrients intake are found.
  6. Crime: Crime is a deviant behaviour from normal behaviour. Rape, sexual assault, robbery, false imprisonment are found here. The unemployment option is only responsible for this.
  7. Problem of Supply of Water: In the slum areas the supply of water comes from the public tap. But the taps are less in number as per as the requirement. In an average of 25 families a public tap is provided by the municipal government which only provides water 2 times in the morning and in the evening for 2 hours.
  8. Problem of Medical Facilities:No facilities are offered by the municipality or NGO’s. So the people in the slum areas have to depend on the private nursing home or health centres.Just a few hours in those slums made me feel horrible. I wonder, how anyone could spend their whole life there, which was the case with majority of them.

    To make and keep India beautiful, first of all we need to improve the living conditions in the Slums. Anganbadi, school, health centres is to be build. Strict rules is to be applied to make the slum areas neat and clean. Social awareness is to be created among the slum dwellers.

Madhumita Ghosh, Assistant Professor,

Department of Geography,

Kalinga University, Raipur, (C.G.)

Email id:

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Kalinga Plus is an initiative by Kalinga University, Raipur. The main objective of this to disseminate knowledge and guide students & working professionals.
This platform will guide pre – post university level students.
Pre University Level – IX –XII grade students when they decide streams and choose their career
Post University level – when A student joins corporate & needs to handle the workplace challenges effectively.
We are hopeful that you will find lot of knowledgeable & interesting information here.
Happy surfing!!

  • Free Counseling!