The landless labourers are also attracted to cities because cities have many factories where they can get jobs as factory workers. Later, these factory workers call in their relatives and friends from their villages. In this manner, cities go on expanding.
The spread of education in villages is also responsible for migration of rural people to cities. After a person living in a village completes his education, say, up to graduation level, he thinks that the agricultural profession is below his dignity. He runs after white-collar jobs which are available only in cities. The result is that nowadays, only old people are engaged in agriculture. Their sons and daughters shift to cities to find more lucrative jobs.
There is no doubt that city life has its own charm. In a city, we have sprawling bungalows, multi-storey buildings, clubs, cinemas, theatres, swimming pools, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, etc. Modern comforts like T.V., fans, refrigerators, room heaters, etc. are available in cities. Villagers come to the city to share the thrills of city life. Sometimes such villagers repent because they are lost in the hustle and bustle of the city life.
A large chunk of the Indian people live in slums these slums lack even the basic necessities of life like drinking water, electricity and toilets. Hygienic conditions in slums are very poor. Both there are no drains and if there are any, they remain choked all the time. Heaps of garbage is found everywhere. These become breeding grounds for germs.
Because of the unhygienic conditions in slums, the slum-dwellers become an easy prey to diseases like cholera, malaria, jaundice, etc. Not only that, when the rains come their jhuggis are washed away. The roofs of their jhuggis fall apart in the event of storms. They become shelterless every time.
The Government is conscious of the deplorable conditions in which slum- dwellers live. The National Slum Development Programme (NSDP) was inaugurated in August 1966. VAMBAY and National Slum Development Programme (NSDP) schemes have been subsumed in the Integrated Housing Slum Development Programme (IHSDP), which was launched on 3rd December 2005.
Under VAMBAY, till March 31, 2008 Government of India subsidy of Rs. 93823.076 lakhs has been released for construction/upgradation of459779 dwelling units and 65555 toilet seats.
The main difficulty faced by authorities is that the slum-dwellers who are provided alternative accommodation sell away the same at an exorbitant price and are back again in slums. They have made it a profitable business. If this fraudulent practice continues, new slums will come up in place of the old ones. In order to prevent such frauds, the Government should maintain photographs with names and addresses of all slum-dwellers so that a slum-dweller is given the benefit of alternative accommodation only once.
The best way to deal with the problem of slums would be to stop the migration of landless labourers to cities by providing job opportunities to such people in the villages. Various labour intensive industries can be installed in the rural areas. Loans can be provided to educated graduates at concessional rates to establish small-scale industries in rural areas. Better facilities should be provided in rural areas so that people do not get enticed to the life of urban people. Once this migration stops, slums in cities will disappear automatically.
By 2030, an estimated 5 billion of the world’s 8.1 billion people will live in cities. About 2 billion of then will live in slums, primarily in Africa and Asia, lacking access to clean drinking water and working toilets, surrounded by desperation and crime.