Slums are the product of broken down village life. The irregularity of rain, prevalence of unemployment, the caste system, the appeal of city life, and a lack of facilities are some of the factors that lead people to migrate from their villages to urban spaces. These spaces are congested, unhealthy, and lack basic health and education amenities. The residents of these spaces consist of migrants—often landless laborers who came to the city in search of employment.
At the time of India’s independence, 90% of the country’s population lived in villages while only 10% occupied civic spaces. Today, India’s cities host 26.1% of its population, and urban centers are growing at exponential rates.
Ramapir No Tekro, also known as the Tekro, is the largest slum area in Ahmedabad, and is located directly across the street from Manav Sadhna. Home to approximately 150,000 residents, the slum consists mainly of people falling under the classification of Scheduled Caste who are originally from villages around Gujarat or potter families from Rajasthan. The entire development is considered an encroachment because the land is owned by the government and is therefore temporary; however, people have been living in the Tekro for over 50 years. Today, through government attention, most of this slum area has electricity, water, sidewalks, and a gutter system. However, due to problems with addiction, health issues, superstitions, backward traditions, high-interest loans and illiteracy, many slumdwellers continue to live in the same cycle of despair and poverty. They earn their incomes by driving rickshaws, rag picking, cleaning homes, shining shoes, and working as potters or day laborers.
By promoting values, education and awareness among the children and women in this slum area, we hope to eradicate many of the challenges the Tekro residents face so that they may become more empowered to change and uplift their standard of living.