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SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEMS & HOW

MECHANICAL ENGINEERS CAN CONTRIBUTE

1. PROVIDING CLEAN WATER TO SLUMS


DWELLERS

In India, some slums are notified, or recognized, by the government. In some


cities, notified slums are entitled to receive security of land tenure, which means
that the people who live in them cannot be arbitrarily evicted. In other words,
inhabitants have a form of property rights to the land even though they do not
own it. People living in notified slums are also usually entitled to access city
services, including connections to the water supply.
59% of slum settlements in India were non-notified.5People living in non-
notified settlements suffer from poorer access to piped water, toilets, electricity
and public transportation when compared to notified slums; they also receive
considerably less assistance from the government’s slum improvement schemes.
Even when sound public health and economic reasons exist for providing slums
with access to municipal water supplies, lack of property rights can impede
provision of this vital service.
The 2011 Census household amenities data present a great surprise. The general
assumption is that the slum population, being the poorest, lacks basic amenities
such as drinking water and latrines. Census data, however, reveals that slum
households have better access to tap water than the non-slum populace. Seventy
per cent of non-slum urban households have access to tap drinking water
whereas in slums this figure is 74%. This means that while almost one quarter
of slum households do not have access to piped water supply, the situation in
slums, in fact, is better in comparison to non-slum urban households, where
30% households do not receive any tap water.
A Distant Dream:
Piped Water at Home in Slums some existing policies impede universal
coverage of safe drinking water supply in slums. One of the major reasons for
the absence of tap water within the premises of the house in slums is due to
insistence on providing valid ownership certificates by the departments
responsible for drinking water supply in urban areas. Since many slums are still
not recognized by the governments, the slum households’ application for piped
water connection is rejected by the department.
Water-related diseases are caused by intermittent water supply systems coupled
with poor sanitation and hygiene practices. Inconvenient supply hours in an
intermittent water supply system in India affect the poor the most.
METHODS TO OBTAIN CLEAN DRINKING WATER :
 recycle their own wastewater;

 harvest rainwater;

 create green space for water cleansing and food cultivation; and

 Restore natural waterways to encourage diversity and deal with flooding.

Working with local slum communities, the project will design and deliver
modular and multi-functional water infrastructure.
Distribution and water loss issues: Distribution challenges, such as water loss
due to theft, pilferage, leaky pipes and faulty meter readings, result in unequal
and unregulated distribution of water. In New Delhi, for example, water
distribution loss was reported to be about 40% as per a study. In Mumbai, where
most residents get only 2-5 hours of water supply per day, the non-revenue
water loss is about 27% of the overall water supply. Decrease in wastage of
available water can be done by inculcating healthy habits of conservation in
slum dwellers.

2. PROBLEM OF DRUG ADDICTION

Poverty in slums becomes root cause of numerous social evils, of which liquor
and drug addiction is of great concern for a variety of reasons discussed in
detail.
i) Children from very young age fall prey to this evil, as they learn by watching
their elders, or are sometimes coerced to try once by someone in their group.
Very recently, a video surfaced online featuring a ragpicker who was just 13 y/o
and was addicted to inhale thinner. In the video, the innocent young lad tells
how he spends a major chunk of income from ragpicking on buying whiteners
and thinners. He also shares his experience on having tried alcohol, weed, hash,
cigarettes and how restless and helpless he feels when he doesn’t get to inhale
thinners. He even mentioned that he would sometimes vomit blood if he refrains
from doing drugs and sometimes, if he would get ill, only drugs could make him
feel better.

The video unmasked the very harsh reality of how drugs and alcohol have
gripped the youth in slums and led to a mass agitation and online petitions for
finding the kid and getting him admitted to a rehabilitation program.
ii) The drug addiction gives rise to several other evils such as indulging in
criminal activities to get their share of dose ,such as thefts,burglary or in some
cases, murders.
iii) Drugs cloud of a person’s sense of judgement and ability to distinguish
between what should and should not be done , making them a potential risk for
society .
iv) Drugs and Alcohol eventually take a toll on the health and therefore life
expectancy of an individual . Using syringes repeatedly for intake of drugs
always poses a threat of getting infected with HIV.

Once they had fallen prey to the addiction, their whole life is ruined unless they
are being admitted in a rehabilitation program in ‘Nasha Mukti Kendras’ , many
of which work for free. The problem is lack of a network which connects the
misguided youth with these facilities which could change their life for better.
We, as an educated and well informed citizens can help establish this network.
This can be done by opening a centres for self improvement, which can help
achieve the goal to provide the slums in youth a better life free from Drug
addictions .

3. ELECTRICITY PROBLEM

Slums bear the brunt of electricity distributors every year, especially during the summer
season when the demand for electricity increases substantially. The problem needs to be
taken care of as it adversely affects the study of the children and poses an obstacle in
various day to day chores.

What can be done to provide a backup during the power cuts is setting up of one or more
solar cell farms in the vicinity of slums. However , due to large set up costs , fund needs to
be raised. This can be done by charity drives, help of NGOs and government aid.

Cleaner fuel
Despite the efforts of the government to make LPG cylinders well within the reach of people
with income level below poverty line, the people in slums are still dependent on firewood
and cow dung for cooking and heating purposes.
A very economic method to solve this issue and also generate some employment for slum
dwellers is setting up of biogas plants .
The raw material required is organic waste, i.e. cattle dung , fruit and vegetable peels , dried
out branches, leaves of trees etc. The benefit from setting up a biogas plant is twofold – i)
cleaner cooking fuel to households in slum, and ii) slurry generated by these biogas plants
can be converted into vermi-composts for organic farming . Compost is a very good natural
fertilizer which can help generate some income for the slum dwellers.

4. EDUCATION PROBLEM

Why education is necessary for people in slums?


Some areas are extremely remote, surrounded by forests and no roads or
electricity. In some of the places, the children are more familiar with guns than
soap! The need to impress education and schooling, as a means towards a future
is imperative.
In rural areas which are more accessible parents prefer to send their children as
domestic helpers onto the farms to earn a few rupees, rather than opportune
them with an education. This is even more so for a girl child. It is common
practice that when she turns 14 she gets married, by 20 has 5 children, has no
education behind her, no money and further more no self-confidence and no
self-esteem.
Slums have their own set of challenges. Located in the hearts of cities, the
disparity between the urban and slum dwellers is a constant impression on the
young minds. Lack of availability of free education forces them to look for
other means to earn the quick buck. Drugs, violence, alcohol, tobacco are easier
to come by than books.
Education not only enables the students to discover their inner talents and to
blossom them to the fullest potential but also broadens the vision and deepens
the roots by enabling them to appreciate the cultural heritage of their own
country and yet have a global vision.
These facts have made it pertinent to broaden our vision and deepen our roots
by bringing education to each child in need.
Ways to accomplish the goal-
 Educational solutions can be developed accessible to out of school
adolescents including evening classes to enable students to balance their
household responsibilities with their education.
 Community sport programs can be developed to create social spaces
where youth can interact in a fun and healthy environment.
 easy-to-access business development, entrepreneurship programs, and
personal finance education shall be provided to build economic
empowerment, and offer mentorship programs with successful working
people in the community.
 By promoting weekly debates and community service projects, we can
offer an enabling environment from which students will be able to create
their own path out of poverty and become proactive and engaged citizens
and leaders who can achieve real change in their society.
 vocational education programs can be provided to transform children’s
lives working with local community-based organizations that have
extensive knowledge of the neighborhood and its needs.
 Certain projects to teach children computer and video editing skills, while
others focus on the promotion of physical education and football training
can promote a healthy lifestyle away from drug abuse and other harmful
activities.
 Being a mechanical engineer we can provide them the expert skills
required for working on various machine tools in the workshops and
transform them from being incompetent to skilled workmen.
5. EMPLOYEMENT PROBLEM

Why employment is necessary for people in slums?


Their prospects for stronger upward mobility are hampered by sluggish
economic conditions and a segmented labor market with various barriers to
progression, such as low skills and poor geographical accessibility to centers of
employment. The contrasting conditions of shack dwellers and formal urban
residents are also among the reasons for increasing frustration and violent
protests in these communities.
Most of the people are indulged in burglary and thievery while others are
simply unable to find an appropriate job to earn their living. Seriousnes of the
matter further increases when it is found that overpopulation and presence of
more dependant members than the earning ones are causing increased poverty
and situations like chronic hunger in some areas. Majority of the slum dwellers
don't want to change their profession and get employed mostly because of drug
addiction and lack of required skills.
When government and other social bodies like NGOs are unable to do anything
(or in some cases don't want to) then it becomes our responsibility to look into
the matter and work for employment of these slum dwellers in order to achieve
rapid economic growth and a higher GDP.
Ways to increase employment of the slum dwellers-
 We can successfully develop a direct sales network that employs youth to
distribute life-changing products in urban slum communities. With each
successful sale, agents earn a commission.

 Women can be indulged in self employment acts such as cooking or


stitching. By providing a proper network of transportation of goods, such
small steps can lead to huge changes in the society.

 Being mechanical engineers, we can provide the people with the required
knowledge of various machine tools and materials in order to build them
capable of working in factories running on lathe machine tool or shaper
etc.
 By imparting them the knowledge of various manufacturing processes,
such men can easily be employed in mass production plants.

 Mechanical Engineers can best grant them the knowledge of parts and
functioning of various elements of automobiles which can provide them
job opportunities like mechanics head in certainly all automobile
companies.

 With the help of correct knowledge & wisdom, we can extract their true
potential and may discover universally unique ways of recycling, reusing
or reconstructing old unusable parts into completely new machinery
which may completely change our lives and also the current world.

6. IMPROVING SANITATION & HYGIENE

The challenge of rapid and unplanned urbanisation that India is facing and will
continue to face over the coming decades needs no introduction. Of the 93
million slum residents in India, 81 per cent have inadequate access to sanitation,
according to a 2014-15 National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) survey
on the characteristics of slums. That is to say, they lack the facility of either an
individual toilet or a shared toilet. They are forced to depend on badly
maintained and overcrowded toilet blocks or, for 15 per cent, have no form of
toilet at all. Open spaces are thus the only option.
This lack of sanitation has far-reaching effects: it imposes significant public
health and environmental costs on urban areas that contribute more than 60 per
cent of the country’s GDP. A 2011 report by the Water and Sanitation Program
(WSP) estimated that the total annual impact of inadequate sanitation in India
amounted to a loss of INR 2.4 trillion.
What can be done?
WASTE TO ENERGY PLANTS can be successfully installed in both urban
and rural slums areas in India. This initiative also provides a benefit of
providing employment and skills enhancement opportunity to the people of
slums specially the unemployed youth in these areas. MECHANICAL
ENGINEERS are needed in this domain to design, innovate and manufacture
these plants and also for the for efficient and sound operation of the machines.
According to the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE),
there exists a potential of about 1700 MW from urban waste (1500 from MSW
and 225 MW from sewage) and about 1300 MW from industrial waste. The
ministry is also actively promoting the generation of energy from waste, by
providing subsidies and incentives for the projects. Indian Renewable Energy
Development Agency (IREDA) estimates indicate that India has so far realized
only about 2% of its waste-to-energy potential. A market analysis from Frost
and Sullivan predicts that the Indian municipal solid waste to energy market
could be growing at a compound annual growth rate of 9.7% by 2013.
Schematic diagram of a Waste to Energy Plant-

A number of key statistics, such as the value of recyclables, the amount of


environmental pollution from waste sources, and the quantity of industrial waste
generated, need to be computed to gain a better understanding of this sector. In
terms of research related to waste to energy, detailed analysis of costs and
available funding is needed.
Secondly, to improve the Hygiene of slum dwellers, particularly the girls and
women, various steps like installation of sanitary products dispensing machines,
construction of better bathing and toilet facilities and improving the sewage
infrastructure need to be taken up in the near future and for that, skilled
engineers are needed which will lead to the overall physical, social and
economic development of slum areas.