Futures under Construction: Behind the Spectacular Rise of Mega-Cities like Mumbai Are the Labourers, the Poorest of the Poor in Indian Urban Areas

Article excerpt

Hidden in the shadows of emerging tower blocks, these migrant workers flock to cities to find work to keep their families alive. Construction sites become their homes where they live and work in treacherous conditions.

The children of migrant workers are even more vulnerable. Because of their families' extreme poverty, they are left to fend for themselves. They suffer from malnutrition, accidents and countless health problems, and do not go to school. The dangerous construction site is their only playground.

Ironically, the children of the very people who produce the concrete symbols of economic devel0pment in Mumbai are denied access to the benefits that come with progress.

Mumbai Mobile Creches runs child devel0pment centres for the children of migrant construction workers, estimated to be over 80,000. Last year Mumbai Mobile Creches ran 30 centres on construction sites providing education, health care and nutrition to over 5000 children. Since it was started in 1972, Mumbai Mobile Creches has set up over 500 centres on construction sites. …