Underserved Community Analysis

The main idea of this project is to understand the lives of the underserved people by collecting data and extracting information about the problems in their lives and coming up with a general solution to improve their lives in atleast one way.

Cities are expanding and people are moving over to these urban areas in hope of a better life. But this is also leading to a growth of slums in these cities. Most of the residents of these slum areas are devoid of some basic facilities that have become a necessity nowadays.
Some of the problems faced by these people are unsafe and/or unhealthy homes (e.g. lack of windows, dirt floor, leaky walls and roofs), overcrowded homes, limited or no access to basic services: water, toilets, electricity, transportation; unstable homes: weak structures are often blown away or destroyed during storms and earthquakes.

The impact of this project will be large. It will help eliminate a few problems faced by the people of the underserved communities and increase their standard of living.
The plan is to break up this project into various phases and have mini-goals at each phase of the project.

  1. The first phase of the project is to perform a thorough research and to come up with a set of questions that will be used in the survey while collecting data in the next phase. This will involve reading and gaining knowledge and basic information about the problems faced by the slum dwellers, to locate various slums spread around the city, finding information about these clusters such as their population and accessibility, and finally developing a questionnaire. This phase will take up to a few weeks to complete and the goal at this stage is the questionnaire and vital information such as the locations of slums.
  2. The next phase is the most important phase out of all the phases. In this phase, the required data for the project will be collected by conducting a survey. Some biases in any survey are unavoidable and the survey, to be conducted, will aim to have minimum bias. The sampling method use will be probabilistic- more specifically, random cluster sampling method. By applying this method, there will be a surety about having representation from all the areas of the city (some slums have area-specific problems. For example, a slum in Allalasandra area in Yelahanka zone of Bengaluru adjoins a lake, and they might have problems such as flooding of water into their homes.) The data collected will be stored in a common database and will be made available for use in the next phase. Completion of this phase may take a few weeks.
  3. The next phase involves cleaning of data and performing exploratory data analysis (EDA). The data collected will have to be cleaned. This is because there may be some incorrect values or even missing values that may creep in due to sampling errors or simply because a few people may choose not to answer a few questions. Upon cleaning the data, the next step is to perform a basic analysis on the data to understand the structure of the data and to decide the further steps to be performed in the next phase of this project. A few days will be required to complete this phase.
  4. This will be followed by the next phase that will involve advanced analysis of the data based on cues gained by the previous steps. Various data science techniques and machine-learning/data-analytics algorithms will be applied to the data to extract the all-important information and will end the data science part of the project. Completion of this phase may take a few weeks.
  5. The next phase is the one that will lead us to a potential solution to the problem posed in this project. This phase involves using the information extracted and coming up with some solutions to help the underserved communities. A possible method that can be used, here, is brainstorming. The final step will be to try and implement the best and most viable/feasible solution.
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Questionnaire Version1

Sample-

  • How would you describe your gender?
  • What is your current age? Where is your hometown located?
  • What is your first language? Do you speak any other languages? [list them]
  • Are you aware of the benefits and the programmes made available to you by the Government? Are you getting those benefits on a personal level?
  • Do you face any sort of discrimination / injustice? Would you be willing to speak about it?
  • If given the resources, would you be willing to upskill yourself?
  • When and for what reason did you migrate from your hometown?

[caveat : their hometown is not Bengaluru]

Finances-

• How many members in your family earn an income?
• Out of this income, how much money do you spend every month?
• What is it spent on?
• Around how much money do you spend on each of the above mentioned things?
• Is this income enough to cover the expenses of your necessities?
• Are you able to save a part of your monthly income?
⁃ If yes, how much?
⁃ Do you keep your savings in bank, or anywhere you’d receive and
interest on it?
• Do you find getting access and being granted loans to be easy?
⁃ If not, what are the problems that you face?
• Job security?

Amenities -

  • What amenities are currently available to you? Are they affordable? Are they accessible? Who pays for it?
  • What aspect do you want improved the most?

Housing-

  • Is your house a properly-built structure or a tent-like weak structure?
  • Is your house durable to strong winds and rains?
  • Do you live at your own house or a rented house? If rented, what is the cost?
  • How many rooms do you have in your house?
  • What is the size of your house (in terms of any measurement unit)?
  • How many members live in your house?

Sanitation-

  • What are the infrastructure facilities (health, water, sanitation) that are available? Are they affordable, accessible and who pays for it (state/private)?
  • Does your house have a toilet? How many people use it?
  • Are you facing any problems regarding the drainage system?
  • From where do you get supplies related to cooking?
  • Do you have access to a Ration/ BPL card? If yes, what is it being used for? Is it
    beneficial?
  • Do you have a clean source of drinking water?
  • Is water readily available for daily/general purpose?
  • What are the sources of water?

Electricity -

• Would you say you have regular supply of electricity?
⁃ If not, how often do you have power cuts and how many hours each day?
⁃ What time of the day is it common to have a power cut?
⁃ Does it cause you major inconvenience or are you able to adjust/work
around that?

Health-

• Approximately how much do you spend on healthcare every month?
• Do you wait as long as possible, until the condition gets serious and there is no option but to visit a doctor to do so?
• Are you offered subsidised rates/schemes for your consultations?
⁃ If there are schemes, how easy are they to use, ie, are they accepted or
rejected by the doctors you consult?
• Do you have hospitals nearby?
⁃ Approximately how far is the nearest hospital?
⁃ Is it easily accessible in terms of transport, quality of roads, ie, is it easy to
reach?
• Do you face any discrimination or have you ever been rejected treatment at a hospital?
• Have you been made aware of the vaccinations you should take and those you should give your children?
⁃ Have you and your children and other family members taken these
vaccines? If not, why?

Covid -

  • How has covid affected you in terms of job and health?
  • Did you lose your job? If yes, were you able to find another job?
  • Did you get paid lesser than usual? If yes, did they pay the difference later?
  • Did you not get paid at all for some period of time?
  • Did you return to your hometown since when the lockdown was announced?
  • Did you isolate yourself? If no, why did you not isolate yourself?
  • Did you get yourself tested? Why?
  • Did you visit a doctor for covid related issues?
  • Were you able to take precautions? If yes, what precautions did you take?

Transport-

Do you own a vehicle? If yes, how often do you use it?
How do you commute daily?
Is public transport easily accessible for you? Is it cheap? Is it subsidized?

Education-

  • Do your kids attend school? If not, what are they currently upto?
  • Given a chance, are they willing to upskill themselves?
  • Is a mid-day meal scheme made available to the kids?
  • Are the schools located in close proximity?
  • Do they have any opportunities to pursue higher education?

Neighborhood-

  • Is your neighborhood overcrowded?
  • How often are there outbreaks of diseases in your neighborhood?
  • Is your neighborhood very close to a factory line or a storm water drain or a lake? If yes, how does it affect you?
  • Does your neighborhood suffer from the problem of alcoholism?
  • Are there frequent riots in your neighborhood?
  • Is your neighborhood safe for everyone?
  • Is your neighborhood clean?
  • How is the odor like in your neighborhood?
  • Is there a problem of garbage disposal in your neighborhood?
  • Do you or your neighbors dispose garbage/waste in nearby lakes?

Misc-

  • Is there a problem of domestic violence in your house?
  • Is there a problem of alcoholism in your house?
  • Does your family celebrate weddings?
  • Does your family give or take dowry?
  • Do you carry out processions when someone passes away in your neighborhood? If yes, what issues do you face while carrying out such processions?
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