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Report No. 138

6.5. Is such refusal or denial justified.-

The underlying motive in seeking support from the fact that the slums have been raised without authority is more often than naught to exert pressure on the slum dwellers in order to evict them. Slums come into existence because of the helplessness of the occupants obliged to seek shelter in a situation of desperation arising in the context of-

(1) extreme poverty,

(2) migration from rural areas in order to stave off starvation and unemployment in the hope to secure some employment-even if that of a fleeting nature-and bread for the women and children of the desperate men-folk,

(3) non-availability of living accommodation even of a wretched condition in the cities.

Their helplessness should evoke sympathy rather than antipathy. The, comparatively better off citizens and the local authorities owe it to their unfortunate brethren and sisters to ameliorate their distress to the extent possible at least out of humane considerations. They should not, therefore, be denied essential facilities on such grounds. So long as they have to live, they should be enabled to live as human beings. Besides considerations of enlightened self-interest also demand the adoption of this course.

If insanitary and unhygienic conditions prevail in the slums, they would be exposed to diseases and epidemics, which may in course of time infiltrate into the other areas and cause diseases and epidemics to spread in other areas as well. Civil amenities, sanitary services, water supply, electricity and such other facilities should not be withheld to the slum dwellers for the aforesaid reasons.

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