Cartoons Thoughts

Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid

Setting the tone right, let me continue my discussions on junta colony and merge it with the ideas I got from “Fortune at the bottom of the Pyramid”

If any one of you has actually visited slums, you would realize that you are more likely to see TV, coolers than toilets. Since these people live in constant fear of eviction, they do not invest in improving their living conditions. Hence there is no drainage, pest control, sanitation or even paint on the house.

Government cannot provide them with ration card (PDS), drinking water, electricity or even health care cards because for all these, you need a permanent residence. And providing these cards means legitimizing their claim on the land. Net result the schemes meant for urban poor never reach the poor themselves.

Since nobody has the legal ownership, the goons have a field day. They run their clandestine operations there, they settle all the disputes and rule the area.

Slum lands cannot be used by its owner because eviction/relocation is politically impossible. The poor who have been occupying it for almost 15-20years do not own it. I always believe land/house is an asset. If you have property in your name, you can use it to raise funds and invest properly. If there was a way in which poor/rich got the ownership, they could unlock its value.

As real estate becomes more expensive apartments, high rise buildings become cheaper. But since nobody is willing to invest in construction, poor continue to live in single storied shacks. What a waste!

Solution (refer the cartoon above): 1 lakh apartments.

Make 7-10 storied apartments, each with 1open kitchen facing the window, 1 bathroom (with sanitation, running water), 150-200 sq feet of living room, a door with your own lock and key. Most important make them have clear titles, so there is never again a fear of eviction.

The building will unlock lots of slum land, so even the govt/land owner might me more than willing to give the land for free.

The ground floor can have shops whose rental could pay for the apartment upkeep.

Does it not sound feasible?

Well each metro has room for 10,000 such houses (100 cr business opportunity in each city) multiply it by the number of cities and it will be a few percentage of the country’s GDP. Builder who made it possible is actually doing good business while also serving the poor

Poor happy because they will get quality of life.

Banks: give me one bank which will not like to be part of this humongous venture.
I am sure even the poorest can raise 20k for their dream house, and borrow another 10k from relatives. So net result bank can give a 70k loan against a secured property of 100k (sounds logical)

The EMI (@8%) would be 586/- p.m. on 70k. (so it will take 17 months of default for bank to lose 10k of safety margin… I think it is worth the risk for the bank)

Since most of the slum dwellers never had a banking account. This loan will give banks new clients and will give poor access to cheep credit and attractive savings schemes.