Analysis: Slum Women of India’s Cleanest City Exposed to Household Air Pollution
By Shahroz Afridi
Santosh Bai’s house has almost turned black from the inside due to the use of a mud stove for several years. “My house has turned black because of the smoke. But I don’t have an option as I have to feed my family,” says the resident of Sai Vandana Nagar Slums, in Sanwer Industrial Area of Indore.
Santosh has an LPG gas connection but the cylinder is empty. “We don’t have enough money to get it refilled,” she says adding that she is more “worried about her house turning black because of smoke, not the condition of her lungs”.
This is not Santosh’s story alone but of most other women slum dwellers in Indore, which was adjudged as the cleanest city in India for the sixth consecutive time in Swachh Survekshan 2022, the Centre’s annual cleanliness survey of urban areas under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
A recent survey by the Union environment ministry revealed that Indore was one of the 37 cities whose air quality has declined in the past four years with increased levels of PM10 between 2017 and 2021.
Photo courtesy of Karan Singh Rathore.
- clean cooking