Water crisis deepens in slums of Mumbai | Awaz Ho Buland EP 13

'Awaaz Ho Buland’ is a show by Video Volunteers on community issues. This series is an attempt to amplify community voices from the media dark areas of the country, where the correspondents reside.

Here, in this episode, the anchor Shabnam Varanasi brings us the plight of the slum dwellers in Mumbai, Maharashtra, the commercial capital of India, of the dearth of basic amenities, specially drinking water. 

Fist fights occur between the residents often while they try to collect the limited water that they source often from broken pipelines or water tankers. The residents complained on camera about the attitude of the Anganwadi Centres (Pre School Centres) towards their children. As they stay in a slum and are not able to maintain a standard hygiene practice because of lack of water, the teachers of Anganwadi’s refuse to educate their children, or look down upon them. The Mothers mentioned that they use dirty drain water to wash the clothes, it is natural that their clothes will stink.

Mumbai’s population is 20 million, and more than half of the population stay in the slums. And Water is scarce in most of these unplanned slums. The situation becomes more bleak in Monsoon times when drains overflow in their tiny shanties.

They do complain to authorities often, often with their documents such as AADHAR Card, PAN Card, Voting card, Ration Card, Birth Certificates etc, but all these documents are not valid for a legit water connection. They are told to get their Land Revenue slips which they do not have. Government has not notified all the slums yet, the slums post year 2000 are all illegal. 

The slum dwellers are disappointed with the Government's apathy towards them. According to the figures of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC’s) annual Environmental Status Report (ESR) data for 2020, in areas like Dadar, Dharavi, Parel, Byculla, Goregaon and Mulund have registered an increase in pollution levels of drinking water in last one year.

Fortunately, in this year, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Mr. Uddhav Thackeray had inaugurated one scheme named 'Water for All' policy. The aim of this policy is to provide water connection to unmapped settlements of Mumbai, which include Slum Clusters, Gaothans, Eastern Areas, Koliwada settlements, giving right to water to every person without any discrimination. 

We wish this scheme a grand success. Please share this video to let people know about the conditions of slum dwellers in Mumbai, the Bollywood.

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