When one talks of slums, ‘Dharavi’ in Mumbai (India), very urgently pops into mind, thanks to Danny Boyle’s 2008 film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. But slums are not always a slogging under-developed country’s production. There are slums teeming with awfully poor people, even in the most developed nations. Don’t believe us? Let’s take a quick look into 7 of the most horrid slums found in comparatively well-off places.
City Of The Dead In Cairo
In Cairo, as many as 500,000 people are known to live among their dead ancestors. In an overcrowded city teeming with 18 million residents, many are forced to build living quarters among the tombs of their ancestors known as the “City of the Dead.” The City of Dead stretches across a land of 6.5 km that holds at least a million tombs. In this modern slum, most houses have facilities like kitchen, gardens, courtyards et al but are unsafe places to reside in. With no electricity and unpaved, winding confusing streets, crime rates are soaring. In this jungle of ruins, the police can do little to provide security to these slum dwellers. In recent years, the Egyptian government has been discussing relocation but looking at the ever-soaring price of properties, relocation is not going to happen any time soon. Never the less, the government’s efforts to provide clean running water and electricity have been commendable.
Cage & Coffin Slums In Hong Kong, China
Deemed as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world yet the plight of some home dwellers is worse now than it was 25 years ago. Some people actually reside in piled-up cages in China’s heart city – Hong Kong. Some have been living here for many years, with visibly no security from rain, heat, noise, pollution, and absolutely no privacy at all. Not just this, there are coffin slums as well, where people reside in spaces hollowed out of the wall. It is extremely unfortunate that in a booming economy some manage to hoard up a million times more than they require while others are left in the most terrible condition throughout their whole life. A survey estimated, twenty thousand people living in this terrible condition in the city of Hong Kong.
Vancouver In British Columbia’s Downtown Eastside
Vancouver is a port city and the third-largest city in British Columbia. Ironically, Vancouver is said to be one of the best cities to reside in. However there is a dark corner in the city – the downtown eastside is infested with drug addicts, prostitutes, illness, murder houses, HIV infected men and women. There is a thriving black market named Hastings Street Market, selling stolen goods, open under the sky. Hepatitis C is a common disease found among the residents there. In the past, the government had made recurring efforts to improve the place but has failed.
Tent Slum In Seattle, Washington
Hundreds of homeless people flock to Seattle, build a tent for the night, and disappeared in the morning. But there are some over 250 people who have permanently settled inside their tents, building a community that can be called ‘tent city’, in an area known as Nickelsville. These permanent or temporary dwellers gaze at a hopeless road ahead with no job, no money, and visibly no future prospect. In the past, the government had constructed cheap housing units known as Single Room Occupancy (SRO) which, during the 1970s had to be closed down due to recurrent fire breakouts. Since then, the people thrown into the streets have been living in tent houses under constant fear of being arrested on charges of illegal camping.
Like many other cities in this list, Hollywood also has its share of dark corners. These dark places started popping up with the boom of the film industry. Later when pornography established itself into a business, thousand flocked into this dream city aiming to earn a fortune. Never-the-less many hopes got dashed, and slums cropped up inhabited by failed dreamers. Consequently, crimes, drug abuse, and prostitution rose. The government has, time and again, tried rising to the challenge, ordering a crackdown on such unruly places but as an official says, ‘You get rid of one, and another pops up.’ For now, Hollywood slums are in quite a hopeless scenario.
La Courneuve In Suburban Paris
A few kilometers outside the city of romance there is an area, so indulged with a crime that the place has been marked off as restricted to trespassers. The larger community of La Courneuve started growing in the last century due to the influx of immigrants from the Middle East and Roma. Initially, the authority did not see this as a threat. By the time the matter began tossing into the consciousness of the government, the place was already swarming with people and their many numbers of children. Jobs are scarce and racism is rampant due to which, any hope of emerging from the dark alleys is dim. The dwellers are basically unrecognized citizens who more than often steep into crime. The repulsive living condition has, in the past, prompted them to cause riots but with little success.
Horrid Slums Of Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai is like a giant melting pot with people from all over the globe traveling to the city in search of work and money. Almost 99 % of the population are non-natives. Next to the most expensive infrastructures, one can easily view a slum seething with an uncountable number of people. Native Dubai inhabitants are also known for their bias towards non-native inhabitants. Since the world economic meltdown in 2009, the thousands of workers stranded in the city have been forced to live in unthinkable conditions. Immigrants (mainly from India and Pakistan) have been reduced to slave laborers and are often employed in labor camps at construction sites. It goes without saying these workers have little hope for a better life.