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Mumbai HDR 2009 provides data on slums

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Mumbai Human Development Report 2009 provides valuable information and data on Mumbai slums. In her foreword to the report, Kumari Selja, the Minister for Housing and Poverty alleviation states:

“…Mumbai contributes 33% of income tax collection, 60% of India’s customs duty collection, 20% of India’s central excise collection and 40% of India’s foreign trade…..yet the city’s slums get less than 90 litres per capacity daily. Studies have indicated that in certain slums of Mumbai there is an average of 81 people to each toilet seat available. And only 31% of Mumbai’s slum dwellers are likely to complete 10 years of schooling. In short, the quality of life in Mumbai leaves much to be desired….”

Some statistics from the report:

Access to water in slums

Type of water supply Percentage of slums Number of slums
Individual 5.26 103
Shared 49.77 975
Standpost 11.69 229
Tube well 625 10
Mixed 31.9 625
No Supply 0.87 17
Total 100 1959
Yuva and Montgomery Watsons Consultants India 2001


Existing status of slum sanitation in Mumbai
Total required toilet seats 125055
Existing number of toilet seats 77526
Work in Progress (Seats) 6050
Deficit of Toilet seats 64157
Source: MSCG: Note on slum sanitation programme to Government of Maharashtra 


Municipal Schools and Student Strength

Year Number of schools Students
2002 1191 539967
2003 1191 509955
2004 1188 485531
2005 1184 461604
2006 1170 435052
2007 1162 343976


Healthcare providers in Mumbai

  MGCM Owned Government Owned Private Owned
Hospitals/Maternity Homes/Nursing Homes 51 29 1500
Beds 11700 9000 20000
Dispensaries/Clinics 185 50 30000
Post Partum Centres 30 _ _
Health Posts 176 _ _

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Corruption Watch

The bad news is that corruption has not only sustained but has grown in size and stature in the country. With scams being a regular feature, seventy per cent respondents in a survey have rightfully opined that corruption has continued to increase in India. One in every two interviewed admit having paid a bribe for availing public services during last one year. Transparency International's latest survey reveals that the political parties top the chart for the most corrupt public institutions, followed by police force and legislatures. No wonder, India continues to make new records on the global corruption arena!

The shocking revelation is that the health and education sectors haven't remained untouched by this phenomenon. With 5th and 6th positions respectively for these sectors on the public perception chart on corruption, corruption has crept insidiously into these sectors of hope for the masses. With bureaucracy being fourth in the list of corrupt institutions in the country, corruption seems to have been non-formally institutionalized with little hope if public services would ever be effective in the country. With economic growth having literally institutionalized corruption, are we now expecting corrupt to be socially responsible - a different CSR.

Poor. Who?

Not giving 'aid' to India is one thing but calling it 'rich' is quite another. If one in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, what does average daily income of $3 indicate? It perhaps means that there is a relative decline in poverty - people are 'less poor' than what they used to be in the past. But having crossed the World Bank arbitrary threshold of $2 a day does not absolve the 'developed' countries of their obligation to part with 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income in development aid. Should this three-decade old figure not be revised?  

An interesting debate in UK's House of Commons delved on future of development assistance by the British Government. While prioritizing limited resources has been a concern, there has been no denying the fact that development aid must be guided towards tangible gains over a short period of time to start with. There are difficult choices for elected governments to make - should they invest in long-term primary education or in short-term university scholarships? Which of these will bring gains and trigger long-term transformation in the society. As politicians continue to be divided on the matter, poverty persists!!   

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