The population of the slum in Kathputhli is mainly inhabited by sweepers, rag-pickers, artisans and general labourers, who have migrated from rural areas to a more urban setting. The draw for these people to urban areas is the hope of better jobs, higher pay, modern housing and an upgrading of their lifestyle from rural workers to middle-class landowners.
Kathputhli dwellers are normally migrants from Rajasthan rural areas. There is a strong cottage industry within the slums of puppet making. Artisans, some of them puppet performers, have settled in the area to make puppets, perform shows and sell their handiwork to tourists and the wealthy people who sightsee around Jaipur.
The Kathputhli housing structures there are mainly semi-permanent. It is legally considered to be a colony, rather than a "slum" which generally denotes illegal squatters. It is constructed of claybrick, cow dung and concrete. A few of the canteens and tea stalls have access to mains power and water. The development level of the slum matches the early stages of the residential areas of Maharashtra's Ichalkaranji, which started off as a more informal squatter community before the graduation to land rights, water, electricity and permanent housing took place.
There are development agencies working in Kathputhli, which are Jagriti and Helping Hand Society Jaipur, providing vocational training and education to the unskilled of the population in sewing and tailoring, shoemaking, computer literacy, and English language.
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