Does urbanization lead to more segregation andor marginalization of the poor in Indian metropolises (Answer in 250 words) 15

Does urbanization lead to more segregation and/or marginalization of the poor in Indian metropolises? (Answer in 250 words) 15


India is undergoing rapid urbanization and is projected to accommodate 50 percent of its population in cities by 2050. While urbanization is a common feature of swiftly developing economies, the unsustainable aspects of this trend raise significant concerns.


This has resulted in the segregation and marginalization of the underprivileged in metropolitan areas through the following means:

  1. Housing Segregation: Clear stratification between affluent gated communities and expanding slums with limited amenities. For instance, a significant portion of Delhi’s population resides in slums with inadequate access to basic resources.
  2. Economic Disparities: Insufficient skill development often relegates the economically disadvantaged to informal employment without job security or social benefits, perpetuating a cycle of poverty.
  3. Limited Access to Services: Constraints on essential necessities such as clean water, healthcare, sanitation, and education further isolate the impoverished.
  4. Social Exclusion Based on Intersectionality: Discrimination persists based on factors like caste, religion, and ethnicity. Manual scavenging, a caste-based prohibited practice, continues to be prevalent in cities like Chennai.
  5. Government Policies: Policymakers often struggle to provide basic necessities to the entire urban populace due to resource and funding constraints, inadvertently discriminating against the poor. Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum, exemplifies this challenge.
  6. Gentrification: The influx of wealthier residents into previously low-income neighborhoods leads to increased property prices, displacing long-term low-income inhabitants. For example, the emergence of multinational corporations in Bengaluru, dubbed the “Silicon Valley of India,” has triggered this phenomenon.
  7. Vulnerability to Disasters: Low-income groups are disproportionately affected during calamities, as seen in the 2023 Delhi floods. Similarly, the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated their plight, pushing them deeper into poverty.

However, there is a silver lining for the urban poor, evident in the following aspects:

  1. Participation in the Gig Economy: The emergence of flexible work opportunities has provided avenues for semi-skilled individuals. Examples include roles as delivery agents and jobs associated with ride-hailing platforms such as Ola and Uber.
  2. Anonymity in Urban Centers: Many impoverished individuals find solace in the anonymity offered by urban areas, enabling them to integrate and access opportunities without being hindered by caste or other discriminatory identities.
  3. Government Policy Focus: Recent initiatives such as AMRUT 2.0, Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban, and PM SVANidhi for street vendors underscore the government’s focus on uplifting the urban poor.

Moving forward, it is imperative to focus on income generation, transportation, and the empowerment of beneficiaries to mitigate potential future challenges.

To achieve a Slum-Free city, a three-pronged approach should be embraced:

  1. Provision of Clear, Free Titles: Granting residents clear and free title to their dwellings would enable them to leverage their properties as tangible assets, fostering a sense of ownership and security.
  2. Infrastructure and Services Upgradation: Enhancing infrastructure and services, including the provision of water, power, and sewage connections to individual homes, efficient solid waste management, street lighting, and neighborhood security, are crucial steps towards improving living conditions.
  3. Establishment of High-Density, Low-Income Zoning: Implementing zoning regulations that facilitate the upgrading of individual properties without jeopardizing their tenure, as well as permitting property owners to lease their spaces to formal commercial establishments, can foster sustainable growth within these communities.


In conclusion, the need of the hour is effective urban planning that prioritizes inclusivity. It is imperative to work towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 11, which focuses on creating inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities and human settlements.

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