Addressing the ''Nagar Ratna Awards'' ceremony here, organised by the All India Institute of Local Self Government, she pointed out that the population of slum dwellers in Indian cities had increased from 26 million in 1981 to 62 million in 2001.
The slum dwellers were placed at the lower rung of the society, Patil said adding, "Every citizen should have access to livable habitats and basic amenities like water and sanitation facility."
The President also called for active participation of women in planning and development process in the urban local bodies.
"Women should be actively drawn into the planning and development process in the urban local bodies," she said.
Patil also expressed happiness over women constituting 36 per cent of the elected members in urban bodies, which is proposed to be increased to 50 per cent.
Stating that India has a predominantly young population Patil said, "The future of the country depends on how well we prepare our youth to take on responsibilities."
She said increasing urbanisation and the high population growth rate in towns and cities had put infrastructure and services under severe strain.