Kargil Basti is situated within an abandoned stone quarry. It is the second largest slum in Bhubaneswar, with close to 1,200 homes and approximately 4,000 people living there. With little or no access to basic services or government support, human poverty persists. The crowded, 3km long slum runs between the airport and the major train line. UMBC is purposefully situated directly opposite the slum.

Some of the challenges that the urban poor of the Kargil Basti face include:

• Unaffordable living expenses.

• Uncertain employment.

• High job competition.

• Low wages.

• High opportunity cost of and low accessibility to skill training.

• Overcrowding & cramped living conditions.

• Poor hygiene, sanitation and health conditions.

• Backward & inefficient gender roles and hindering social taboos.