A photo feature by Mumit M/ Real Picture
They live on the margins of the city, yet the city could not exist without them. They come to the city for refuge, but there is no space for them. We don't want them to live beside us, but we need them to work for us. We want their daily lives and living conditions conveniently hidden from our sight.
The sprawling slums are the only place where those forced from their village homes are welcome. The perilous tongs and bastis are the only shelter afforded them. The low-paid, menial jobs are the only ones open to them in this city of millions.
They serve the economy but face year-round job insecurity. They serve us in our homes but face eviction from their own homes. Yet they have no choice but to make their homes in the bastis, ghettos and slums of a city that needs them but does not welcome them.