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Info Change India - Urban Poverty


Last updateSat, 22 Jul 2017 6am

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How to make urban governance pro-poor

By Ramanath Jha

This introduction demystifies terms such as 'the urbanisation of poverty', 'absolute' and 'relative poverty' and the 'informalisation' and 'feminisation of poverty', and points out why urban poverty needs a different approach and set of solutions from rural poverty. Pro-poor urban governance follows on an acceptance of the poor as integral assets of the formal city


Counting the urban poor

By R B Bhagat

In all the noise over whether the urban poor can survive on a daily per capita expenditure of Rs 33 rupees or Rs 47, we miss the point that we need to move away altogether from the income/consumption approach to measuring poverty to measurement on the basis of urban habitat -- including access to safe water, sanitation and a clean household environment -- and livelihood/disaster vulnerabilities


The industry of 'empowerment'

By Rahul Goswami

The urbanisation of India project is being executed in the name of the 'urban poor'. But the urban poor themselves are lost in the debate over methodologies to identify and classify them and the thicket of entitlements, provisions and agencies to facilitate their 'inclusion' and 'empowerment'


Data discrepancies

By Debolina Kundu

We cannot address the problems of urban poverty and slum conditions until we know their magnitude and details. Masses of data are available, but given the inadequacy of official definitions of slums, it is limited in scope, coverage and standardisation/comparability


The feminisation of urban poverty

By Vibhuti Patel

Economic globalisation rides on the backs of millions of poor urban women, forced into cheap labour in an unregulated and insecure informal sector. The increased visibility of women in the workforce could actually be read as a sign of economic distress, not empowerment


Making the invisible visible

By Siddharth Agarwal

Health, nutrition and wellbeing disparities in urban India are stark. Under-5 children in the most vulnerable sections of the urban poor are 2.5 times more undernourished than the urban rich. And their mortality rate is significantly higher than the urban aggregate. The urban poor are in fact far less likely to avail of ICDS and other schemes than the rural poor


Minorities at the margins

By Abdul Shaban

While increased social exclusion and religious polarisation are pushing Muslims to urban areas, poverty amongst urban Muslims is 13-16% higher than the national average. In the western and northern states in particular, communalised state machineries and politics act as barriers to the economic and social mobility of Muslims. Malegaon, Mumbra and Bhiwandi in Maharashtra illustrate how poverty is concentrated and perpetuated amongst urban Muslims


Housing poverty by social groups

By Darshini Mahadevia

13.9 million households were living in slums in urban India in 2011. While housing conditions within slums have improved between 1993 and 2008-09, BPL and Muslim households continue to have poor access to safe water supply and sanitation. They should be the focus of future policy


Multidimensional poverty in Pune

A CCDS report

With income as the only indicator, an absurd 5% of Pune's population would be classified as poor. But the Pune Municipal Corporation itself accepts that 40% of the city lives in multidimensional poverty, suffering residential, occupational and social vulnerabilities. While Pune's poor have relatively higher levels of access to public services than the poor in other cities, a closer look reveals the extent of their vulnerability


Undermining RAY

By Kathyayini Chamaraj

The Rajiv Awas Yojana recognises the right to land and security of tenure of the urban poor, requires slums to be redeveloped or upgraded in-situ, and mandates community participation in rehousing plans. Then why are slum-dwellers federations in Karnataka rejecting the scheme and governments continuing to push for one-size-fits-all multi-storeyed housing and PPP models?


Resettlement projects as poverty traps

By Karen Coelho

Mass-scale state-constructed slum rehousing schemes serve more to eradicate the poor from the city than to eradicate poverty. The 15,000-unit Kannagi Nagar project in Chennai illustrates how mass tenement-construction promotes spatial and social segregation, and perpetuates or reproduces poverty


Participatory budgeting

By Naim Keruwala

Urban local bodies are responsible for urban poverty-alleviation. And municipal budgets reflect the priorities of government. But unless the urban poor participate in envisioning and planning budgets, all sorts of general expenditure ends up booked as allocation for the poor, as the case of Pune illustrates, and the opportunity for targeted poverty-alleviation is lost


Exclusionary cities

By Amita Bhide

2015 marks a centenary of urban planning legislation in India. This is as good a time as any to reflect on how the poor have been excluded from the planning process and how the colonial legacy of a divided city has continued in independent India. If the poor have staked a claim on the city it is in spite of urban planning, not because of it