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Urban Poverty in India and Post-MDG Framework Urban Poverty in India and Post-MDG Framework
Contributed by: darshini_581

Urban Poverty in India and Post-MDG Framework

Post-2015, when the deadline of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) end, the world has to give itself a new development agenda to address continuing conditions of poverty and inequality. Some countries have missed their targets and some have met theirs. The goals and targets set were limited. There was no rural-urban differentiation in either identifying goals and targets or benchmarks for the targets. For example, reduction in slum living was made to be important only in case of urban areas and not for the rural areas. Hence, while the world moves on to the post-MDG framework, there is a need to set up a new agenda post-2015, which should aim at more process oriented and transformative outcomes.

There is also need to take on board existing inequalities, particularly among the different communities in a country and also between rural and urban areas. Even urban areas have become highly unequal and the dimensions and dynamics of urban inequalities should reflect on the post-MDG urban agenda. This paper presents the facts on urban inequalities in the context of the targets 10 and 11 of the Goal 7 of the MDGs and reflects on the processes through which the agenda of these targets can be met in the future.

The context is India, which is a socially diverse country, wherein, some social groups, namely, the Dalits, the Tribals, the Muslims and women, have lagged behind in all the MDG indicators. These groups have also lagged behind in the targets 10 and 11 of the Goal 7 in the urban context and are experiencing higher incidence of poverty than the general urban population. The paper suggests that shelter security should be the basis for transformative and equitable post-MDG agenda in urban India. The paper also gives the rationale for this suggestion and shows that urban policies and programmes have not adequately addressed the question of shelter security in the country. Lastly, the paper suggests that the post-MDG framework should be built on the ‘Right to the City’ agenda for India.