- The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. Mahatma Gandhi
Live in a Slum for a Month
A slum is a heavily populated urban informal settlement characterized by substandard housing and squalor. While slums differ in size and other characteristics, most lack reliable sanitation services, supply of clean water, reliable electricity, law enforcement and other basic services. Slum residences vary from shanty houses to professionally built dwellings that because of poor-quality construction or provision of services have deteriorated into slums.
Life In The Slums
The number of people who live in slams is hard to measure as many of them do not want to be known or move around a lot to find food and money where possible. A large percentage of these people are children.
There are many dangers facing people living in the slums. As people from the slums travel throughout the country looking for opportunity, they are denied basic rights from the Government such as health care. They are technically not classed and for this reason can be refused from hospitals and are offered little or no security from the police force.
Alcoholism is big problem of slum life. In India, alcohol is cheaper to buy than food and it takes away the pain of hunger. It is for this reason that many residents opt to buy alcohol instead. Thankfully, this problem is not rife in children; however they often face the knock on effect of alcohol such as abuse.
With poor sanitation and close living quarters, sickness and disease is rife in slum living. Infection spreads quickly and this can prove fatal in the case of the young and weak. The main illnesses to affect slum life include measles, conjunctivitis, colds and flu and headlice. Misinformed adults readily give children in the slums tobacco to chew which can lead to under lying health problems.
Children living in the slums have little or no education as they are not known to the Government. The local schools will not accept these children and they have to rely on outside charities and organisations to help school them. Any child from the slums who is accepted into school will often choose to work for money instead of attending.