Sukumbasi Slum dwellers in Kathmandu

With growing urbanization in Kathmandu and lure by the prospects and job opportunities in the capital, there has been a huge influx of migration community from all parts and parcels of the country who have finally settled in Slums, astounding numbers of Squatter settlements or slums along the river bank in the valley has arisen.

Slum dwellers or sukumbasi in Nepali are people settling on land without legal right they have ultimately settled to the riverbank, they are prone to natural calamities and disease as these people lives in poor structural housing and squalor, overcrowding, with lack of proper hygiene, drinking water and sanitations.

A survey in Kathmandu revealed that there were 29 river bank informal settlements, Squatters with 2,031 households. Seventeen settlements in other locations had 467 households. These people may live on the land for decades, but have no legal title to it.

Officially, Sukumbasi are people who do not own land anywhere in the country. Besides natural calamity and disease there is greater amount of domestic violence, alcoholism, polygamy, child marriage, dowry and other gender discriminatory practices in the slums. With no safety and privacy school this vicious circle of poverty hits even hard to the single women who are more vulnerable and discriminated. Children seem to be exploited and child labor is common and there are high dropout rates for those attending school.

At my last trip to Nepal I visited the slum in Kathmandu. Even if they have nothing they gave us a warm welcome. My team and I got unforgettable impressions which I would like to share with you and the world.