Chandigarh is the Union Territory of India. Cosmopolitan city Chandigarh is the capital of two Indian states – Punjab and Haryana. Chandigarh is known as ‘City Beautiful’, The beauty of Chandigarh lies in its large and wonderful gardens be it Rose Garden, Shanti Kunj, Terraced Garden or Various other gardens designated as green belts all over the city. In the city and nearby there are various famous holy places such Chandi Mandir and the temple of Mansa Devi the goddess. Lake and other tourist places increase the popularity of the city. These green belts also account for the relatively cleaner air of the city despite the ever increasing vehicular traffic.
The industrial area of Chandigarh always keep on attracting people from neighboring Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir to distant Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. As the city grew in size and population during last few decades, the scope of work extended to a large variety of jobs ranging from menial to professional profiles. This generates the various strata of population living in differing conditions in the same city.
There exists a broad polarisation between a posh North and an under privileged South. There exist a third block, that is the deprived half of the population which dwells in slum like colonies and a few suffocated villages. While the almost rich North part of the city wants a Horizontal development and the middle class resedents of South part need a sustainable vertical growth of buildings as well as of the basic amenities like water pressure, the stable unintrupted electricity and other facilities.
The colonies and villages however want to exist at the least, be saved from the frequent demolition drives in the name of various violations of building bye laws and at the most be privileged enough to have their children educated in a complete school (building enough to accommodate all the students in a single shift, adequate number of teachers etc.), get running water on the common public taps, have metered electric supply instead of kundi connections, better toilet and sewerage facilities, safety from drug racketeers and criminals, clean surroundings, streets and street lights etc. The persons living in such deprived area need good socio-economic conditions and good living standards but they are just living with least survival condition in the Union Territory Chandigarh.
The people from different cultures and customs stay together in city. Very small part of the population is spending luxurious life and the major part of the migrant labor is spending life in worst conditions like the people of the underprivileged and downtrodden tribes.
There is big variation in socio- economic status of the population in Chandigarh. Largest portion of the population works as low paid employees or laborers and few of them spend luxurious lives. The major number of employees and workers who actual make the city beautiful are doing jobs on a non permanent and unsecured basis. The highly bureaucratic structure of administration cares a little about the social security, medical or other legal rights of the workmen. This also adds to the stress in the daily lives of a large population of the city.
The so called night life of the city also does have many shades. Rather it is clearly divided into the dazzling one and the shady, hot in summers and cold in winter one. On one hand the high society enjoys facilities like discotheques till late while on the other there do exist, however, secretly, a section of women is engaged in the lowly flesh trade. They are doomed to be the victims of all kind of violence, social hatred and disturbed lives yet having no way out of it. They have already acquired a volume by numbers, qualifying to be considered as a phenomenon of the city.
As one moves in the galleries and verandahs of the closed shops during nights one finds a large number of people reeling on the floors trying to rest their bodies so as to be able to join work the next day. Some may be found cooking food on the small stoves placed on the same floor of the market place which was abuzz with business activity in the day time. These are the home less of the city, who is genuinely city residents but not bon a fide enough, to be called so, by the privileged population of the city. They work hard to earn throughout day and even harder to sleep at night. The housing rights and an inclusive planning of the city are the issues arising out of this ground reality.
The seasonal variations put great stress on the economic status of the poor people. According to weather their methods of earning changed as in summers the cold drinks, lemon water, ice creams are in demand and in winter they earn by selling some eating products and soups. The poor section works on daily labor basis, in factories and industries, works as construction worker, domestic servants, rickshaw pullers, three-wheeler and taxi driver and as street vendors, hawkers etc. The well-educated youth works at call-centers in large number and on contract based jobs in major institutes.
Socio economic status of the women is very poor. Literacy rate as well as female to male ratio both is very low. The conditions of women and children of Chandigarh are not too good. Rag picking and begging by small children, child bearing or pregnant mothers is common sight on the traffic signals, eating joints and many such places all over the city.
The actual conditions of the educational institutes is very poor especially Government schools. Due to poor economic conditions children are not able to get admissions even in Government schools. On ground level the educational system is not well managed. Punjab university of Chandigarh and more other institutions are the points of pride for the city.
The literacy rate of women is very low among a large section of working population. All the issues related to their lives are almost ignored by government. The health status of the women is very pathetic and they are facing some specific health related problems that affects the infant mortality rate. Basic medical facilities are not available to the pregnant women. The number of malnourished and underweight children is very high in slums. Many Non-governmental organisations are working on these issues in Chandigarh.