Safe haven is a fundamental right of human beings. As much as food and clothing are essential for a common citizen, it is equally important to have sustainable housing. Keeping this importance of shelter in mind, the United Nations celebrates World Habitat Day every year on the first Monday of October. Every year this day is organized with a new theme. The theme of World Habitat Day for the year 2022 is Mind the Gap. Leave no one and place behind.
Every year, World Habitat Day reminds us of our responsibilities related to the safety of our towns, localities and shelters. Along with this, it also makes aware that it is the responsibility of all of us citizens to provide safe accommodation to all. Especially at a time when many people are living without a home.
According to a report by the United Nations, 55 percent of the world’s population i.e. 4.2 billion people live in different cities, town areas. According to a report, this number will double by the year 2050. This means that by the year 2050, 7 out of every 10 people will live in concrete cities. That’s why we need safe and sustainable city management in cities.
If I talk about various figures, before the corona epidemic, 1.8 billion people in the world lived in slums, informal slums. After the corona epidemic, humans had to return from their respective places of work and return to their respective homes. This stage is called reverse migration.
If we talk about the statistics of residence in India, then in the year 2001, where 27.81 percent of the population lived in different cities, town areas, towns, then in 2011 this figure became 31.16 percent. The number of people living in India’s urban areas is projected to increase by 416 million by the year 2050. Sustainable urbanization also brings with it many problems.
The most important of these problems is to provide safe accommodation to a large population living in the cities. In the absence of safe accommodation, these people start living in slums, unauthorized, slums. These settlements lack basic facilities like clean drinking water, health infrastructure sector, quality-sustainable education system, proper drainage system, sewage treatment and electricity etc.
Due to these deprivations, there is no progress in the life of the people living there. Think of it in such a way that the children living in these settlements become victims of malnutrition. Due to this there is a high level of infant mortality rate and child mortality rate. Apart from this, due to lack of education and awareness, child marriages also take place in India. Adolescent girls who become mothers below a certain age limit, where they suffer from anemia diseases like anemia, then the children born to them are also malnourished.
In addition to these social challenges, there is also high unemployment and poverty in the slums. The people living in these places are mostly workers working in the informal sector. Due to this they also have to be deprived of most of the social benefits available to the workers. Apart from this, due to the highly congested place, there is a problem of pollution along with respiratory diseases.