Slumdogs of Chikkaballapur will never turn millionaires

Slumdogs of Chikkaballapur will never turn millionaires

Their pitiable conditions have not changed, nor show signs of changingRahul Belagali Chikkaballapur:The town and city landscapes in every district are

People residing in sheds and huts near a market in Chikkaballapur. DH Photo

Families with atleast 10 members reside in each of these pigeonholes, which includes a kitchen, bedroom, dining and toilets - all combined in a single dingy room. Such is the plight of the family members that they cannot help being vulnerable of catching contagious diseases.

The Chikkaballapur district boasts of total 35 slums and each house competes with one another in terms of dirt and grime.

The filth and unhygienic conditions prevails is similar in each slum and the plight of the slum dwellers is less said the better. And almost similar is the condition prevailing in each and every house.

Each cubbyhole will necessarily have a bed-ridden aged person, an unattended infant, the cooking and toilets alomost adjacent, uncared children, frail women folk and weak and disease-prone men.

The premises are unkempt and untidy, with hardly any space for drainage. While light and water supply is unheard of, forget about clean food and laundry-dried clothes.
Financially challenged.

Financially challenged, the slum dwellers have no other option but continue to live in the given conditions. Government sanctioned houses and other benefits are unheard of for these slum dwellers. For years they have been living in the same conditions and the children too have got adjusted to this lifestyle.

Most of the slum dwellers lead their livelihood doing petty jobs. They either rag pickers or labourers. Some even clean the drainages, while others work on construction sites.
Some of them also work as scavangers or coolies. Even the children are unheard of schooling and are found most of the time whiling away or picking rags.

The youths are often unemployed, while some keep migrating to other places in search of jobs.

The officers of the Slum Clearance Board from Bangalore keep visiting them to study their plight and even promise them an ‘improved standards of living.’ But alas, the promises and assurances remain only mere words. Chintamani taluk in the district boasts of the highest number of slums with numbers standing at 18.

A total of 11,215 slum dwellers live here. Gowribidnur taluk has four slums and as many as 7,500 people reside here. This is followed by Shidlaghatta taluk which has four slums with total 5,620 slum dwellers.

Houses for slum dwellers

The Slum Clearance Board has conducted a detailed study of all these statistics and has aimed to construct 798 houses in Chintamani taluk and 150 houses in Chikkaballapur taluk.

Slum dwellers say that most of the time they purchase the leftover fruits and rotten vegetables from the market. The children are deprived of nutritious food, forget healthcare and education. “We are totally dependent on petty jobs which fetch us peanuts.

The houses leak in monsoon, elders and children shiver in biting winter and it is sultry during summer. The houses are only for namesake. If only we have better shelters...,” they ask with dreamy eyes.

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