I was rummaging through the by lanes of the dusty backyard of a major metropolis in search of cheap-made furniture a few weeks back. This commercial pocket was one of the many in the extended city where the grimy underbelly of the metropolis stood alongside the sparkling hope of a monetarily secure future. The entire commercial area is a stone's throw away from the outskirts of the main city, but the standard of living of the immigrants made for a glaring discrepancy from the high-heeled locales of the main city. The truck-lined road was speckled with tiny commercial establishments run by immigrants to the city, hoping to etch a bare living, while saving enough to send money to their families in the village. Against the pervasive stench of the gutter, ramshackle tin sheets cluttered together in some pockets to form homes for many of the immigrant families. Entire colonies of tin walls and roofs seemed to be continuously spawning for acres together. Children robbed of basic education chased each other down the lean road, squealing in delight. Washed clothes stretched out to dry on the ropes hoisted outside the dank, claustrophobic 6 feet x 6 feet houses. The only gleam of sunlight was a hole cut in the ceiling.
These immigrants face enormous psychological pressures of adjusting to the life of a throbbing, economic giant of a city. Clearly, even through the lack of basic amenities, they are managing to survive. With economic drives being prominent reasons for the influx of immigrants to major cities, the overall economy will continue to thrive if this manpower is in continuous supply. People will continue to survive economically through such appalling conditions of living. Mental health will not.