ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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On Incidence of Diarrhoea among Children in India

Drinking water, sanitation and hygiene behaviour, referred to as the WASH variables by the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund, are acknowledged as the three main determinants of diarrhoeal diseases. But the impact of their complementarities on disease incidence remains understudied. This study uses state and household level data to examine the determinants of child diarrhoeal incidence. It introduces indicators of WASH quality and combined presence, both at the household and state levels. It combines them in a novel analysis to understand their roles. In the Indian states, with the worst WASH infrastructure, these variables are strategic substitutes, but as WASH infrastructure improves, they become strategic complements. Thus, resource allocation to lower diarrhoea incidence must take into account the complementary rather than individual presence of these focal variables. Further, the quality of WASH also matters. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, targeting universal sanitation coverage, is unlikely to be effective unless it breaks the Gordian knot of complementarities and WASH quality holding up the burden of childhood diarrhoea.

Drinking Water in Kanyakumari

The example of Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu shows that the provision of safe drinking water still remains an unachieved goal, especially in rural areas, with the most severe adverse effects on the health and development of the rural poor. However, India utilises only half of the available surface and groundwater. Augmentation of availability and control of water pollution are necessary to meet the drinking water needs of rural areas.

Drinking Water Crisis in Kutch

This paper discusses how a natural water scarcity in the Kutch region of Gujarat has been converted into a severe water crisis due to the approach of the post-independence water resource development and utilisation. It also brings out the impact of three decades of relentless extraction of groundwater resources and its almost irreversible effect on the land and water resources of Kutch

Declining Social Consumption in India

The declining trend in the use and provision of basic amenities needs immediate attention at the policy level. The main reason for this decline is the low efficiency in managing resources like drinking water, where distribution and transmission losses are high. Policy-making should also focus on demand-side aspects like increasing water use efficiency, recycling and promotion of watersaving technologies.

Wealth and Waste

While instances of resource over-appropriation are in evidence in different settings globally, the error of a narrow tragedy of the commons analysis is to assume an original natural state of open access to resources. In all social forms, humans have created institutions to restrict individual access to resources so that they may be preserved for collective benefit. Tragedies of the commons occur when such collective institutions are undermined and individuals lose the sense that their long-term interests in resource preservation are being assured. The case of Gujarat's fishery presents one such instance where development overlooked local institutions that may have been able to restrict resource over-exploitation by fishers.

Water: Charting a Course for the Future - I

Water has suddenly become a favoured subject for seminars and conferences all over the world. A common trend in most of the discussions is to proceed from projections of demand to supply-side solutions in the form of 'water resource development' projects; estimate the massive investment funds needed; take note of the severe limitations on the availability of financial resources with governments; point to private sector investment as the answer; and stress the need for policy change to facilitate this. In India, consciousness of the importance of the subject led to the appointment of the first National Commission on water, which submitted its report in September 1999. This paper attempts to provide a broad and compendious account of the state of affairs in India as far as water resources are concerned and to chart a course for the future.

Water Rights

C Ramachandraiah (February 24, 2001) has very pertinently put forth the issue of safe drinking water and the commercialisation of this basic commodity – abundantly available otherwise if judiciously harvested and equitably distributed – by the so-called business community. The issue should lead to...

Drinking Water as a Fundamental Right

The recent landmark judgment by the Supreme Court, placing drinking water as a fundamental right should serve as a stern warning to the politician-bureaucrat nexus who have in recent years turned a blind eye to the growing pollution of Indian rivers. That the court too has sided with the people, and should help in initiating a debate on a crucial issue that has serious implications for the continued health and well-being of most citizens.
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