Thatching is the craft of building a roof with dry vegetation such as straw, water reed, sedge (Cladium mariscus), rushes and heather, layering the vegetation so as to shed water away from the inner roof. It is a very old roofing method and has been used in both tropical and temperate climates. Thatch is still employed by builders in developing countries, usually with low-cost, local vegetation. By contrast in some developed countries it is now the choice of affluent people who desire a rustic look for their home or who have purchased an originally thatched abode.I have another post where I have posted pictures of Huts in an Indian village, which was taken in Western India, about 200 kms north-east of Mumbai but those huts had cobbled roofs. That little village near Mumbai looks more prosperous even though it was smaller and further away from a town center.
We came across this particular village on the way from Chennai to Puducherry.
Thatching can be not just economical, but also effective. Properly made with the right materials, a thatched hut can be quite waterproof, more than the other materials.
More related images: A village in Maharashtra or Sketches and drawings of thatched huts (based on the photos in this post)
You might also like: Huts in an Indian Village or Photographs of houses and huts from Dakshinachitra in South India (which has a picture of a model thatched hut) or Middle class kitchens of rural India
For urban poverty check out Slums in India - Aerial View or Homeless in India - Photographs