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Not all residents of urban slums are poor or illiterate, study finds

Not all residents of urban slums are poor or illiterate, study finds
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First Published: Fri, Jul 27 2007. 12 32 AM IST
Updated: Fri, Jul 27 2007. 12 32 AM IST
New Delhi: More than a quarter of the 4.14 million paid workers who live in slums in India earn in excess of Rs1 lakh a year. And more than 60% earn in excess of Rs50,000 a year. This is one of the findings of the Invest India Incomes and Savings Survey 2007, released earlier this month by India Dataworks.
The survey has produced the first 360 degree view of Indian retail finance markets and the financial behaviour, preferences, and future investment and credit intentions of the 321 million paid workers across urban and rural India, who live in 216 million households.
The survey defines a paid worker as someone who earned income in the preceding 12 months.
According to the Invest India survey, almost all workers live in slums in urban areas. Apart from the surprising disclosures about the earning power of slum residents, the study also finds that not all people who live in slums are illiterate. Almost 15% of the workers who live in slums are graduates; a little more than 4% are professionally qualified; around 12% are college dropouts; and 23% have completed schooling. That would mean that one out of every two workers who live in a slum is reasonably educated by Indian standards.
The occupations of workers who live in slums throw up similar surprises. One out of every five workers in a slum works for the government, either Union or state; 10% are self-employed professionals and workers; and 38% have a business.
The study also finds that the household composition among slum dwellers follows the same pattern as in society at large: There are very few households with one person; and not too many extended households (or joint families). The majority of households where paid workers live in slums are nuclear households. And 45% of them have fewer than five members.
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First Published: Fri, Jul 27 2007. 12 32 AM IST