Chapter 3


Pune is one of India’s fastest-growing metropolises, the second largest in the state of Maharashtra and the eighth largest urban agglomeration in India. Over the last three decades it has emerged as a thriving hub for the automotive, information technology and education sectors. The city attracts a large number of migrants from various parts of the country and from all economic classes, many of whom live in poorly constructed informal settlements or bastis.

This chapter profiles the city and its socioeconomic situation. The chapter is arranged in four sections. The first section provides the introduction. The second discusses the demographic, social and economic characteristics of Pune. The third profiles the low-income settlements that have been chosen for the study. The fourth section concludes the chapter and summarises the analysis.


Demographic Profile

The city of Pune has witnessed substantial growth since the early-1990s, though the overall growth rate for the Pune Urban Agglomeration (UA)1 declined in 2001-11. Migration increased from 3.7 lakh in 2001 to 6.6 lakh in 2011. The population density in the city increased from 10,405 persons per sq km in 2001 to 12,770 persons per sq km in 2011 (Pune Municipal Corporation, 2012). Population density, especially in the heart of the city, is very high.

Table 3.1 Population in Pune Urban Agglomeration (2011)

Source: District Census Handbook: Pune, Village and Town-wise Primary Census Abstract, Census of India 2011

Figure 3.1 Age structure in Pune slums

Source: Socioeconomic profile of slums in Pune under UTTHAN project, CHF International, August 2011

Of the total population of 50.5 lakh in Pune UA, Pune City houses 31 lakh (61%) (Table 3.1). Pimpri-Chinchwad is another major city in the Pune UA. The population of the city is 17 lakh, which is 34.3% of the population of the urban agglomeration.

According to demographic projections made by the city-based Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (Mulay, [no date]), the population of Pune City alone is projected to reach 55-60 lakh by 2027. Nearly half of this population is likely to be living in low-income informal settlements or bastis.

Age-sex structure of the slum population

The age-sex pyramid in Figure 3.1 shows the very young demographic in Pune’s low-income settlements. Around 25% of the population is in the 16-26 age-group; another 19% is between 26 and 36 years of age. The majority of internet users come from these age-groups.

Urban poverty & slums

The purpose of this study is to understand how the urban poor use the internet. However, commonly used measures of poverty use definitions that are obsolete or inadequate or both.

In a survey of Pune’s slums in 2005, the PMC identified just 10,088 families as living on less than Rs 591.75 per person per month, the official criterion for identifying Below Poverty Line (BPL) families at the time. However, over the last decade it has been accepted that this income poverty line is a starvation line at best, and this estimate of the number of poor is completely off the mark.

In India, another identifier of economic status is the government ration card, issued to facilitate application to various government entitlements and subsidies, including subsidised foodgrain and fuel from the Public Distribution System (PDS). Ration cards are colour-coded by household income. The yellow card represents Below Poverty Line (BPL) families with incomes below Rs 15,000 per year. An orange card represents Above Poverty Line (APL) families with incomes below Rs 100,000 per annum, and the white card is for households with incomes above Rs 100,000 per annum. In 2008-09, 4.38% of households with ration cards in the city held yellow/BPL ration cards and 87% had orange ration cards, according to a survey by the Karve Institute of Social Service (Socio-Economic Survey of Pune City – 2008-09). However, these income qualifiers were laid down several years ago and are unrealistic today. Further, it is widely acknowledged that incomes are not always accurately reported by households applying for ration cards.

‘The narrow approach of the income-poverty line overlooks the multifaceted nature of human deprivation,’ says academic Meera Bapat (Bapat, 2009, p 7) who has made an extensive study of urban poverty and poverty and social exclusion in Pune. She points out: ‘The official poverty line, when applied to Pune, suggests that only 2% of the population is poor, yet at least 40% of the population lives in poverty,’ (Bapat, 2009, p 3).

Bapat’s longitudinal study of slum settlements shows that there is very limited upward mobility in the city’s working class. Despite periods of rapid economic growth in Pune, the urban poor cannot be confident of a steady and stable growth in their incomes, and the opportunities for households to escape their deleterious environments in slums are very limited. ‘Lack of secure employment together with the lack of sufficient assets makes access to housing of adequate quality impossible. Hence, despite moderate increases achieved in income, these households are effectively trapped in degraded environments,’ she concludes (Bapat, 2009, p 41).

The CCDS study on barriers to internet access goes beyond income poverty to look at the digital inequality of those households that live in multidimensional poverty. The poor face multiple disadvantages, including poor health, malnutrition, lack of clean water or toilets, poor quality of work or little education. These disadvantages affect the way in which income is converted into good living (Amartya Sen, quoted in The Economist, July 2014).

The slum population of Pune

There are 564 slums in the PMC, with a total population of approximately 11.89 lakh. Approximately 40% of the city’s total population resides in these slums. The population density in slums is six times that of non-slum areas of the city (Population Foundation of India, 2012). The average housing unit is 10-15 square metres (Shelter Associates, 2010, cited from Gokhale, 2014).

In Pimpri-Chinchwad, the first slum survey carried out by the Municipal Council in 1976 registered 35 slum pockets (5,621 hutments) with a population of 26,470. By 2002 the number of slums had increased to 71 (35,412 hutments) with a population of 1,46,054 persons. Most of these pockets (46 out of 71) are located on land owned by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), the state government, the PCMC and the Pimpri-Chinchwad New Town Development Authority (PCNTDA). Though the proportion of the population living in these settlements decreased from 27% in 1971 to 13% in 2001, in absolute terms the slum population has increased markedly.

Literacy rate

Table 3.2 Literacy rate (2011) Note* Urban Pune comprises 35 towns including Pune City

Source: Census of India 2011

Table 3.2 overleaf shows literacy rates among low-income settlements in the PMC and the PCMC vis-a-vis those of the urban areas of the district, state and country (according to Census of India 2011). With a literacy rate of 86%, Pune ranks seventh among all districts in Maharashtra in literacy. The literacy rate in PMC slums is 2-7% behind literacy rates in urban India, urban Maharashtra and urban Pune. However, slum settlements in the PCMC lag much further behind in literacy achievements.

Table 3.3 Composition of population by socio-religious groups in urban Pune and slums in the city

Note: KCB – Kirkee Cantonment Board; DCB – Dehu Road Cantonment Board. No slums were reported in Pune Cantonment Board which is also part of the Pune UA. Pune District (Urban) is the same as Pune Urban

Source: Census of India 2011 *Data not available by religious groups for slums

Caste composition

Pune District (Urban) records 14.3% SCs and 1.6% STs, according to Census of India 2011. Census of India 2011 shows a much higher percentage of SCs in slums (31.5%) in the Pune Urban Agglomeration.

Access to basic amenities in slums

Table 3.4 Access to amenities and assets (% of households)

Note: *Radio/transistor, television, computer/laptop with or without internet access, telephone/mobile phone, bicycle, scooter/motorcycle/moped/car/jeep/van

Source: Census of India 2011

The areas designated ‘slums’ in Pune UA house families that fall into strikingly different socioeconomic strata. There are daily-wagers living in kutcha or poor quality housing with common water connections, ‘borrowed’ electricity connections, and public toilets, as well as families living in pucca houses made of bricks and cement, with one or two storeys, private toilets and private water connections, and equipped with a variety of white goods. The PMC’s low-income settlements are on a par with those in the rest of urban India and urban Maharashtra with respect to water supply, access to communication facilities and possession of assets (Table 3.4). However, the proportion of households with telephone and mobile connections in the low-income areas of Pune (PMC) is higher than in urban India and urban Maharashtra. Access to communication devices and possession of assets in PCMC areas is lower than in the PMC. The sanitation situation is poor in PMC as well as in PCMC areas. The City Development Plan 2006-12 states that the average person to toilet ratio in declared slums is 84:1. Open defecation is quite high in the PCMC area.



Location of study settlements

The six settlements are located in different parts of the city, four in the PMC and two in the PCMC area. Table 3.5 provides their location in the city.

Table 3.5 Slum settlements selected for study

Profile of study settlements

The following sections give a brief profile of each of the six settlements with respect to their location, physical characteristics, and availability of basic amenities and facilities. The information was collected through field visits and discussions with informed persons from the community such as workers at anganwadis or government centres for mother and child care. The population of the settlements from the most recent surveys has been cited. Some of these surveys are more than 10 years old and with an overall increase in the city’s population, the population in the study sites will also have increased. However, Ambedkar Nagar, Anand Nagar and Patil Estate are located in congested areas and are surrounded by other construction, leaving little room for expansion.

Figure 3.2 Location of surveyed slum settlements

Ambedkar Nagar, Market Yard

Ambedkar Nagar is located adjacent to Market Yard, the centre of the city’s wholesale grocery trade. Established in 1980, the settlement has survived many demolition attempts. Ambedkar Nagar’s recorded population is 10,780 in 2,156 dwellings (Slum Atlas, 2011). Most of the houses along narrow lanes are kutcha structures of tin and corrugated iron. The community is predominantly Scheduled Caste, as the name suggests, along with Scheduled Tribes and religious minorities (mostly Muslims). Most residents have migrated to the city from other parts of Maharashtra. But this basti also houses interstate migrants from Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. Most of the working population is engaged in unskilled labour in the surrounding wholesale markets. Some work as sweepers and trash collectors with the municipality.

Sanitation and waste management are particularly poor in this basti, which is surrounded by garbage dumps, and where very few homes have private toilets. Most of the children go to the nearby corporation schools; some go to private schools located further away. There is no public internet facility in the settlement and no infrastructure for wired telephone or broadband connections. However, almost all the households have TVs using cable connections or direct-to-home (DTH) services, and mobile phones. This is one of the poorest of our study settlements in terms of socioeconomic indices.

Anand Nagar, Chinchwad

Anand Nagar in the PCMC is one of the oldest slum pockets in this area. It was established in 1972, and is strategically located along the old Mumbai-Pune highway near Chinchwad railway station. The last publicly available survey, by MASHAL in 2002, records 2,282 households and a population of 9,000 to 10,000; 30% of houses are pucca, the rest kutcha or semi-pucca (with brick walls but corrugated iron/acrylic roofs). The population comprises Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims speaking Marathi, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi. Most people have migrated here more here than 25 years ago from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, and from other parts of Maharashtra. The majority are self-employed (at beauty parlours, tailoring shops, grocery stores, motor garages, etc). Some people work as unskilled construction workers and labourers in the MIDC estate. Some are in private jobs and others do skilled labour. Some women work as domestic help in nearby housing societies. Women are also seen making and selling traditional grinding stones and vegetables. A few residents have jobs in the nearby malls and multinational food chains.

Most households here have LCD TVs and a few have computers and laptops. A cable TV provider located in the basti provides cable TV connections to most of the households. There is no wired internet connection in the basti except for one in the corporator’s office. There are three cybercafés around 500 metres from the basti. Talktime and internet recharge vouchers are available at many shops inside the settlement.

Janata Vasahat, Parvati

This huge settlement is situated in the old city area at the base of Parvati Hill and sprawled over the hillside. Adjacent to the settlement is the Mutha Canal (also known as Ambil Odha). The first settlers moved here around 1965. The Slum Atlas (2011) records 4,542 houses in the settlement with a population of 23,250. This is a better-off settlement, with around 90% pucca/semi-pucca houses. The population is predominantly Hindu (mostly Marathi-speaking) with a few Muslim and Buddhist families. The majority are self-employed (at beauty parlours, tailoring shops, grocery shops, sweet shops, shoe shops, bakeries, chicken shops, lottery shops, paan shops, eateries, computer training institutes, mobile and computer repair shops, and tuition classes). Some residents sell balloons, peanuts and other snacks around Saras Baug Garden and near the Parvati hill and temple. A few also have government jobs (as drivers, bus conductors, cleaners or nurses) or private jobs. Some women work as domestic help in nearby housing societies.

There are 30-32 public toilet blocks, but a number of households have private toilets and 90-95% have private water connections. Waste disposal is also better organised with six garbage bins, and corporation garbage vehicles collecting garbage from the settlement.The settlement has closed drainage and 90-95% of the households have electricity meters. There are 10 ration shops within the settlement.

There are two corporation schools in the settlement up to the seventh standard, with separate divisions for girls and boys. Computer skills are taught from Standards 1 to 7 in these schools. Most children from the settlement, however, go to private schools.

There are seven-eight cable TV providers in the settlement. One of them stated that he used to provide wired broadband services through cable earlier, but withdrew it for lack of demand. There are several shops, including sweetmeat shops, that also sell mobile recharge vouchers. There are three cybercafés within 1 km of the settlement. These also provide scanning and printing facilities. One institute in this settlement offers courses like MS-CIT and training in the use of accounting software and other computer programs. The institute has Wi-Fi connectivity.

Laxmi Nagar, Yerawada

Laxmi Nagar, one of the biggest slums in the city, is located on the Pune-Ahmednagar Road close to upmarket areas such as Koregaon Park and Bund Garden and not far from the new IT hubs at Vimannagar and Kharadi. Established in 1972, the basti is surrounded by other slum pockets including Ashok Nagar, Kamraj Nagar, Ganesh Nagar and Wadar Vasti. The Slum Atlas (2011) put the population at approximately 4,000-5,000 households with roughly 20,000 residents. Most of the houses are pucca. The majority are Hindu (61%) and Marathi-speaking, but there is a sizeable proportion of Muslims (34%). 84% of the residents are migrants from within Maharashtra.

Most of the population is self-employed (tailoring, vegetable vending, grocery shop, mechanic, beauty parlour, tea stall, catering, etc). Some are in private jobs and others do skilled labour. Most of the employed women are domestic workers at the nearby housing societies.

There are 12 public paid toilets. Some households have private toilets. All households have a private tap. There are three garbage bins. The drainage is closed. Most households have electricity. A majority (80%) of households have APL ration cards. There are two Urdu-medium PMC schools in the settlement (one for boys and one for girls) and two Marathi-medium PMC schools in the same building.

Most households have cable TV connections while others have DTH connections. Many households have LCD TVs. There are two cable providers in the area. One of them said that customers do not ask for wired internet connections as most use the internet on their mobiles. Some use dongles for computers and laptops. There are no cybercafés inside the settlement but there are two in the Yerawada Market located at a distance of 500 metres from the settlement. There are two mobile repair shops inside the settlement and many general stores selling talk time and net recharge vouchers.

Two computer training institutes are situated around the settlement near Yerawada Market, one of which is recognised by the government.They offer basic as well as advanced computer training courses.

Mahatma Phule Nagar, Bhosari

Phule Nagar is a comparatively recent settlement established around 1991 and located in Bhosari, adjoining the MIDC estate in PCMC. The settlement has grown with the establishment of industry in these parts. It is also adjacent to the DY Patil College campus. The most recent available data are from a MASHAL survey in 2002 which enumerated 1,306 households and a total population of 5,168. The settlement has expanded since, and new hutments, mostly kutcha, can be seen towards its periphery. Most of the houses are kutcha or semi-pucca. The population is multicultural, with Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims, speaking Marathi, Kannada and Hindi. There are settlers of the Wadar nomadic tribe as well. Most of the men are engaged in unskilled labour doing packing, loading and unloading work at the nearby industries or construction sites. Others run small shops selling goods and vegetables. Most women are restricted to the home and neighbourhood. Very few women work as domestic help. This settlement, like Ambedkar Nagar, ranks low on the wealth index.

There are four public toilets in poor condition. The drains are full of garbage. 90% of the homes have private taps. All the households have electricity; some have metered connections while others have borrowed it from neighbours. There is a corporation school up to Standard 7 and a senior secondary private school. This school provides computer education for a fee of Rs 150 per month.

Two cable providers in the area charge around Rs 200 per month for a cable TV connection. One of the cable providers remarked, ‘People do not pay monthly cable bills on time so there is no hope of charging for internet too’. A mobile repair kiosk in the settlement also provides content downloaded from the internet (mostly songs) and sets up Facebook and WhatsApp accounts on mobile phones for people who need help. There are two cybercafés 500 metres away from the settlement, but not many residents use them. Many small shops and even vegetable vendors sell talk time and internet recharge vouchers of small value (Rs 15-20).

Patil Estate, Shivaji Nagar

Patil Estate is a compact settlement in the Shivaji Nagar area, established in 1988 along the Pune-Mumbai highway. The Mula River runs behind it and there is a canal on the other side, making it very vulnerable to flooding. Towards the road there are pucca and double-storey houses but as one moves into the interiors, 75% are shanties or kutcha houses with poor sanitation. A report by Shelter Associates (no date) recorded 1,213 households with an estimated population of 6,000 but this number would have gone up substantially in the last 15 years. Most of the people are Hindus from Scheduled Castes, but a sizeable proportion are Muslims. There are several Kannada-speaking households. The majority of the community is self-employed – mostly in scrap collection and sale – and the rest work as unskilled wage labourers. Many houses have scrap piled on their rooftops. There are three toilets of which one is a paid service and two are free. None of them is clean. There are no public taps. There are two garbage bins. The settlement has a closed drainage system. All the households have electricity meters. Most of the families have an orange ration card. Though the basic infrastructure is poor, Patil Estate stands higher on the wealth index than Ambedkar Nagar and Phule Nagar.

With regard to communication, there is no wired internet facility or public access point in the settlement. Some people use dongles on computers and laptops. The nearest cybercafé is 1 km away. There are no mobile voucher sellers/mobile shops in the basti. Recharge vouchers are bought from the basti opposite, across the Pune-Mumbai highway. The majority of households use DTH TV.

Demographic characteristics


Gender Distribution

Figure 3.3: Gender distribution of household population for persons below 16 years of age (N=1,921)

Figure 3.4 Gender distribution of household population for persons aged 16-70 years (N=5,999)

Figures 3.3 and 3.4 show the male-female proportion in the surveyed settlements. In the 16-70 age-group there are more males than females. However, in the below-16 age-group, there are more females than males. The higher male population in the 16-70 age-group is possibly due to male in-migration in the settlements for work. In Mahatma Phule Nagar the proportion of males in the age-group 16-70 years is markedly higher than females, possibly because Phule Nagar is situated adjacent to an industrial area and attracts male-specific migration. In the below-16 age-group, all settlements with the exception of Janata Vasahat have higher female populations.

Age structure

Figure 3.5 Age-sex distribution of surveyed population aged 0-70 years (% of household members)

Note: Excludes persons below age 16 for Anand Nagar

Our survey data corroborates other reports of the age-structure of the population in low-income settlements in the city (Figure 3.1).The 16-25 age-group constitutes 29.5% of the surveyed population in the six survey locations. Another 17.5% belong to the 26-35 age-group (Figure 3.5).

Table 3.6 Age distribution of surveyed population aged 0-70 years by settlement (% of household members)

Note: *Information for children 0-15 years not available for Anand Nagar

Marital status

Table 3.7 Marital status of household members aged 16-70 years (% of household members)

64.1% of the population is married, 29% unmarried and 6.3% widowed. 88% of the widowed are women. There are no major variations in marital status between the surveyed settlements (Table 3.7).

Socio-religious groups

This study attempts to understand the digital behaviour of marginalised groups – including SC, ST and religious minorities – within the urban poor, find out whether they experience any particular barriers in internet access, and recommend policy changes for digital inclusion. Many of the unskilled migrants who come to the city to earn a livelihood belong to socially excluded communities. They end up in the city’s slums. As mentioned in the methodology, settlements which have larger numbers of socially excluded communities have been purposively selected for this survey.

The CCDS survey reports a very high percentage of SC/STs in Anand Nagar, Mahatma Phule Nagar, Ambedkar Nagar and Patil Estate. Overall, 31.5% of the slum population in the Pune UA belongs to the Scheduled Castes (Census of India 2011). In the settlements surveyed, between 42% and 85% belong to the Scheduled Castes. Moreover, Patil Estate, Laxmi Nagar and Ambedkar Nagar report 27% to 36% households belonging to the religious minority (Muslim) community. In Janata Vasahat, which is one of the oldest settlements in the city, more than 50% of the population belongs to either OBC (26%) or SCs (24%). Around 10% of the population in both Janata Vasahat and Anand Nagar belong to Scheduled Tribes.

The settlements also represent linguistic diversity. Most of the people in these settlements speak Marathi, followed by Hindi and other languages.

Table 3.8 Socio-religious groups (% of households)

Note: *Caste not reported for 6 households, 1 each in Mahatma Phule Nagar and Laxmi Nagar, and 2 each in Janata Vasahat and Ambedkar Nagar 

**Includes NT/DNT

Access to basic amenities

Water supply

Figure 3.6 Access to Water supply (% of households)

Note: Information not gathered for Anand Nagar

Most of the homes in these settlements have individual piped water connections. The exception is Mahatma Phule Nagar in the PCMC area where only 41.5% of households have private water connections (Figure 3.6) and the remaining households are dependent on public (or the neighbour’s) taps.


Figure 3.7 Access to Sanitation (% of households)

Note: Information not gathered for Anand Nagar

The vast majority of the population has no access to private toilets and depends on free public or community toilets. Nearly 1.4% of the households surveyed reported that they were forced to defecate in the open (Figure 3.7).

Access to a toilet facility is directly correlated with the number of rooms per family. Laxmi Nagar and Janata Vasahat households have more rooms and also more private toilets.


Figure 3.8 Drainage (% of households)

Note: Information not gathered for Anand Nagar

Most households in these settlements have access to closed drainage with the exception of Phule Nagar, where only 35% of the drains are covered (Figure 3.8). Laxmi Nagar and Janata Vasahat are the two settlements better served with drainage facilities.

These are the oldest as well as the better-off settlements in terms of the number of households that fall in the higher wealth quintiles.


The majority (88%) of households report ownership of their homes. Few of the houses in the settlements under study are rented (Table 3.9). These settlements were established several decades ago, and many of the residents are second- and even third-generation residents of the city.

Table 3.9 Ownership of house (% of households)

Note: 4 families (2 in Janata Vasahat, 1 in Ambedkar Nagar and 1 in Laxmi Nagar) did not report ownership as they were staying with relatives. Thus, the figures in these columns do not add up to 100

Table 3.10 Type of house (% of households)

Table 3.11 Number of rooms per house (% of households)

With respect to the type of houses in these settlements, Mahatma Phule Nagar in Pimpri-Chinchwad and Ambedkar Nagar in Pune report a higher percentage of kutcha households, viz, 73% and 62% respectively, while Laxmi Nagar has only 1.2% of kutcha houses (Table 3.10). As in the case of home ownership, the age of the settlement is seen to have a direct relationship with the type of housing. Ambedkar Nagar and Mahatma Phule Nagar were established comparatively recently, in 1980 and 1991 respectively. Laxmi Nagar and Janata Vasahat were established more than 40 years ago.

46% of the houses in these settlements are single-room structures. The proportion of such single-room houses is largest in Anand Nagar, Mahatma Phule Nagar and Ambedkar Nagar (Table 3.11).

Table 3.12 Room density (% of households)

Note: Room density is the number of persons living in a room

More than 70% of the households have a room density of 3 or more persons, and more than one-fourth have a room density of more than 5 persons (Table 3.12). These congested environments make it difficult to store desktop/laptop computers. In Anand Nagar and Mahatma Phule Nagar, more than 25% of the households have a room density of 4-6 persons.

Educational status of surveyed population

Table 3.13 Educational status of household members aged 16-70 years by gender (% of household members)

Note: *28 missing cases

Almost 80% of the population in the surveyed settlements report some education (Table 3.13). However, just 21.6% have completed any higher education beyond Standard 10. Educational categories in our study are based on the level of enrollment reached, ie each category includes those who have completed or are pursuing education at the specified level. For example, higher secondary includes individuals who have completed Standard 12 as well as students who are enrolled at the higher secondary level but are yet to complete Standard 12.

Table 3.14 Educational status of household members aged 16-70 years by settlement (% of households)

Note: *28 missing cases

Educational attainment is higher in the relatively older settlements such as Janata Vasahat and Laxmi Nagar (Table 3.14). The proportion of the population in these settlements who are graduates is higher (8.5% and 9.6% in Janata Vasahat and Laxmi Nagar respectively). Moreover, the proportion of the population in the upper wealth quintiles is higher and this is directly reflected in educational attainment. The levels of educational attainment also seem to be related to the social characteristics of the population. Slums with a higher presence of religious minorities or SC or ST, such as Ambedkar Nagar and Anand Nagar, show lower levels of educational attainment.

Table 3.15 Distribution of school-going children under 16 years of age by type of school (% in each type of school)

Note: Balwadi: childcare centre; Anganwadi: mother and child centre

Table 3.16 Medium of instruction in schools for children (% in each medium)

Note: *Term used by respondents when certain subjects like science and math are taught in English and others in the regional language

Information pertaining to school-going children in the surveyed households was also gathered (separate from those 16 and above included in 5,999). A total of 1,170 children aged 6 years and above were recorded. Around 54% of the children go to government schools (Table 3.15). The primary medium of instruction for 62% of the students is Marathi (Table 3.16). Around 65% of the children are reported to be receiving computer training in school (Table 3.17); 68% of these are students of private schools and 56% go to government schools (not shown in table).

Table 3.17 Computer training in school for children under 16 years of age

Employment and occupation

Table 3.18 Occupation of adult household members (% of household members)

Note: *With regular government or private jobs in the formal or informal sector **Artisans, skilled workers such as plumbers/electricians, and those engaged in business ***’Not working’ includes homemakers, young adults who have completed their education or have dropped out of school and are not engaged in any economic activity, and the elderly

Information on the employment or occupation status of the 5,999 household members, along with their educational attainment, helps to understand the present and potential economic status of households in these settlements. This in turn has a bearing on their financial access to and affordability of the internet. Table 3.18 shows that of the adults (ages 16-70) in the six settlements, 34.3% (ranging from 31% to 38%) are not working. Thus, more than a third of the population is not earning directly and is likely to have limited access to money. Those working are largely self-employed (20%), in service (19%) or students (12%). The proportion of daily-wagers is low (8%) in the study sites. It is lowest in Janata Vasahat and Laxmi Nagar where the numbers in the service and self-employed categories are higher. The percentage of those working as domestic help is comparatively low. Employment in service is highest in Mahatma Phule Nagar as the residents find jobs at the nearby industrial estate. Its location in the industrial area (MIDC estate) also explains why very few here are employed as domestic help. In Patil Estate, where the dominant occupation is waste recycling, many residents, especially women, work as scrap collectors.

Wealth status

Overall, there is an even distribution of households across wealth quintiles. There is, however, a difference between settlements with respect to income levels. There is substantial concentration of households in the 1st and 2nd quintiles (1st representing the poorest quintile) in Mahatma Phule Nagar and Ambedkar Nagar. In contrast to these two settlements, about 58% of the households in Laxmi Nagar fall in the two uppermost (4th and 5th) quintiles (Table 3.19).

Table 3.19 Wealth quintiles by settlement (% of households)

Note: The methodology for arriving at wealth quintiles has been described in Box 2.1

Household assets

About 89% of the households own a television, while 86% have cooking gas connections. Two-wheelers and refrigerators are other major assets found in the households and more than two-fifths of the households own them. Only 1.1% of households have a landline phone; these are usually households from which a business is run. It is easier to acquire a mobile phone as compared to a landline phone. 26.4% of households have DTH TV connections and 62.5% have cable TV. The high percentage of households with cable TV indicates that there is a potential for internet access through the existing cable infrastructure.

Ownership of internet-related devices is limited among the households. Only about 11% of households have desktop or laptop computers while 3.6% have tablets. Only 1.2% of households have a desktop computer with fixed/wired internet, while 3.2% have laptops and 4% have a dongle/data card (Table 3.20). However, 96.5% of households have a mobile phone.

Table 3.20 Household ownership of assets (% of households owning each asset) by settlement

Ration cards and government schemes

About 22% of the households in the settlements report yellow or ‘BPL’ ration cards, while 69% possess orange (APL) ration cards. Anand Nagar has a larger share of households with BPL cards. Mahatma Phule Nagar reports the largest proportion of households (22%) without a ration card, probably because it has more recent in-migrants. Laxmi Nagar reports the fewest households without ration cards. Laxmi Nagar reports the highest percentage of households with white cards, but these are still below 10% of the total households surveyed. Laxmi Nagar and Janata Vasahat, which have higher percentages of households in the higher 4th and 5th wealth quintiles, report very high percentages of households with orange/APL and white cards.

Table 3.21 Types of ration card held by households (% of households)

*2 cases reported ‘other’, 1 each in Mahatma Phule Nagar and Ambedkar Nagar

The government has several individual and family welfare schemes for the economically and socially disadvantaged. These include education scholarships, housing and employment schemes, self-help groups (SHGs) and vocational training. Surprisingly, only 7.6% of the households reported availing of government schemes other than subsidised food and non-food items under the PDS scheme. With regard to the type of schemes availed of, the most common are SHGs (47 households), housing schemes (28 households), educational scholarships (only 27 households) and vocational training and employment schemes (only three each). Awareness levels, which are proportionate to educational and wealth levels, also determine the number of families availing of these schemes. It is not surprising that the highest percentages of households that have availed of government schemes are from Laxmi Nagar and Janata Vasahat which are better off than the other settlements (Figure 3.9). Education and housing-related schemes figure high as seen in Table 3.22.

Table 3.22 Number of households that are beneficiaries of government schemes other than PDS

Note: *By department of urban community development

While only 121 of 1,634 households accessed these government schemes, formal or informal financial loans were taken by almost 20% of the households, ranging from 10.6% of households in Ambedkar Nagar to 26.7% in Patil Estate (Figure 3.10).

Figure 3.9 Households that have availed of government schemes other than PDS (% of households)

Figure 3.10 Households availing of formal/informal loans (% of households)


This chapter has presented a profile of Pune city, of low-income settlements spread across the PMC and the PCMC, and of the six study settlements. The six settlements have been purposively selected to represent a diversity of caste, religious and income groups in order to provide a picture of the digital exclusion of marginalised urban communities.

Forty percent of Pune city, and a significant number in Pimpri Chinchwad, lives in informal or slum settlements. Slums in the city have seen a high rate of growth over the last two decades. The Census of India (2011) estimates that people from Scheduled Castes make up 31.5% of slums in Pune UA, compared to 14.3% in urban Pune as a whole. People from Scheduled Castes make up 46% of the settlements studied, and there is a high percentage of religious minorities as well.

As the city grows rapidly, the slum population – with a young demographic and 50% youth – will grow correspondingly. These populations must have equal access to affordable and high-quality internet services. Eighty percent of the surveyed population reports some education, and 65% of the under-16 school-going children receive some form of computer training at school.

People in Pune’s slums have access to basic amenities including electricity and water supply, and they possess a variety of household assets. The majority of the surveyed households own their homes and have security of tenure. Room density, however, is high, and sanitation and garbage-clearance is very poor. Ninety-five percent of households in the surveyed settlements have ration cards, but only 7.6% of them avail of government welfare schemes other than subsidised food and non-food items under the PDS.

While the study settlements lack access to wired telephone and internet connections, 89% own televisions (62.5% with cable TV connections and the rest with DTH connections) and almost every household has a mobile phone. Three percent of households have laptops and 4% have dongles or data cards. Very few have desktop computers with internet.

The next chapter discusses media consumption and internet penetration and use in the study locations, in the context of this profile.


1. Pune UA comprises Pune Municipal Corporation, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, Dehu Road Cantonment Board, Kirkee Cantonment Board, Pune Cantonment Board, and Dehu Census Town