Arial view of Tekra
There are about 200,000 residents packed into the slum area of Tekra (green polygon). Even in the slums you can see a sort of stratification of society. The further you go into the city the smaller the makeshift houses become. The poorest residents make a living collecting trash and taking them to a consolidator who will sell the rumaged goods to become recycled. Many of the kids do this all day and don't have time to go to school. There were some pot makers and seamstresses, taxi driver, day laborors that we met. Coming from the US, it took me a couple days to become used to the environment, but after awhile I became confortable after making some friends. Children were quite happy when at play and I saw how important how establishing community centers were for the social well being of a community. Since I had only been there a couple weeks, I was advised not to drink the water there and some of the kids ran out to the closest store to get us bottled water.
You can also find a few goats and cows milling about. "Tekra" means "The Hill". Much like slum areas of any big city (Ahmedabad is the 6th biggest city in India), it started as an area where squatters set up land. The area is technically government owned land. There doesn't seem to be much of a social infrastructure in India to dole out welfare or give much social services, so NGOs like Manav Sadhna take resposnibilty to help out. At the time I went ( Dec 2005), there was a community center being built, a guild of trash collectors being organized, Malaria, Tetnus and other disease education as well as a daily food program going on.
You can see the Manav Sadhna headquarters(red circle) located next to the Gandhi Ashram (blue circle)on the Sabramati River.
AHMEDABAD-is called a dry place.NO ALCOHOL IS PERMITTED IN ENTIRE STATE OF GUJARAT however, nowdays due to liberal tourism policy it can be served to foreign tourists in rated hotels but no pubs and bars will be seen outside the hotel as we commonly see it in other cities. AHMEDABAD-was called'MANCHESTER OF INDIA' as it was having the great number of textiles & looming mills.
Ahmedabad, from where i graduated before achieving masters in states, is the city where Mahatma Gandhi established his Ashram to live. In ahmedabad i was brought up. It is devided into two parts. The old ahmedabad-an old city area; and, The new ahmedabad- new city established out of ahmedabad Fort. The two cities are connected by bridges. In the middle of two cities, flows a river called Sabarmati.
The new ahmedabad has changed dramatically after 1996-97. It has now proper parking lots assigned each side of the main road. The credit goes to the then mayor of the city Mr. Keshav Verma who is now in the World Bank office in USA as well as the current Chief Minister from almost 7 years shri Narendra Modi. The old city of ahmedbad is still the same, and will ever remain the same. It is said that if you can drive your vehical (specially car) in old ahmedabad,without any scratch to the vehical, then, u do not need to take driving test :) I have made it many times..:)
The city is (becoming) a living combination of Indian & western culture where you can hear Bandagi for Allah in early morning & Aarti/prayers in temples at about 7 am. as well as find the crowd enjoying weekends in FIVE multiplexes in and out of the city. The evening is westernized by disco theques in major Four star and Three star hotels. You feel the beats of the city watching young teens riding their bikes happilly in any weather. I ENJOYED IT..AND I WILL ENJOY IT IN MY 60s..:)
The ahmedabad has been given the credit to have the most popular and intensive educational institutes such as IIM (Indian Institute of Management), CEPT-The architectural edu, Nirma Institute, NIFD (National Institute of Fashion Designing), NID (National Institute of Designing), AMA (Ahmedabad Mgmt Association) and last but not the least, AF (Alliance Francaise-The french institute) and German institute.
You feel the foreign crowd from all over the world as well as westernized indian crowd in these institutes..from all over india.
More than this, you will find many high quality computer academies. NIIT and IITs are the ones.
The college are the posh ones in new ahmedabad. There are H.L.College of commerce, H.A. college of commerce, St. Xavior college, B.K. School of Management, L.D. Arts and engineering college and many more.
The city is quiet well educated. (in comparison of 90s)