Urban poor not helpless: Report - The New Indian Express

Urban poor not helpless: Report

Published: 08th November 2012 08:59 AM

Last Updated: 08th November 2012 08:59 AM

A report by the Public Affairs Centre (PAC) on the status of urban poor living in 50 slums in the city has thrown up some interesting details.

According to the report, urban poor, who constitute between 9 and 11 per cent of the city’s population contribute between 3 and 3.5 per cent to the city’s revenue.

This, according to the PAC, is Rs 15-20 billion out of a total of Rs 580 billion.

The study, which is part of the Government of India’s Support to National Police for Urban Poverty Reduction Programme, was conducted with funding from the government and sought to survey 1,000 households and 200 informal enterprises across 50 slums in the city.

The highlights of the report were presented to the press on Wednesday by Kala Seetharam Sridhar, Senior Research Fellow, PAC.

“The slums of Bangalore house around 9,000 cooks, 65,000 houseworkers and 73,000 drivers according to our estimates.  Out of the Rs 20 billion revenue contribution, `19 billion comes from households while Rs 1 billion comes from informal enterprises like pan shops etc. This shows that contrary to popular opinion, urban poor in the city are not a burden on the city’s infrastructure, they contribute their share as well,” Kala said.

Discussing policy implications of the report, Kala said that the report had shown 48 per cent of the people surveyed preferred to send children to private schools and bear the costs from their own income or by borrowing.

“This shows that government must look at improving the quality of the local public schools,” she said. Another finding which stands out is that only 4 per cent of the survey sample had ever gone to a bank for loans. This shows that government measures for urban poverty alleviation through financial inclusion is not successful,” Kala added.

R Suresh, Director of the Public Affairs Centre, said that the cancellation of their registration by the Minsitry of Home Affairs  was expected to be lifted within the month.

The ministry had earlier cancelled registrations of 245 NGOs for receiving funds from abroad.

“This was a mistake by the department. There was a team which visited our office and it was satisfied with our work. They will rectify the mistake made within the month, we are confident,” said Suresh.

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