Till today the Dalit community is treated as the ‘waste absorbers’ of Indian society, and experience challenges in accessing rights, entitlements, and opportunities in every sphere of life. The paper is an attempt to put forth the demand for right to sanitation from the perspective of the Dalit community. A holistic right to sanitation cannot be achieved unless there is complete eradication of caste based discrimination and attitudinal changes of the people, along with strict enforcement of the manual scavenging law.
In most societies, women are key managers, promoters, educators and leaders of home and community-based sanitation practices. However, women and young girls are the most affected when adequate WASH services are not accessible. They are highly vulnerable to health problems. The author highlights the sanitation issues young girls’ face in schools, which indirectly affects their education; the under-representation of women in decision-making bodies and the struggle women face to lead a life with dignity and safety. The paper is an attempt to bring forward the perspective of gender in acquiring right to sanitation.
The document is a brief statement of the position of the right to sanitation campaign, which aims to fulfil the internationally self-declared obligation of Government of India to ensure a right to sanitation for all those who reside in India. The campaign believes that sanitation should not be limited to the provision of toilets for an open-defecation country, but to build up a holistic understanding of the sanitation practices, that takes into account the dignity and safety of all sections of the society.
The paper is set in the urban context, wherein a major social group, the City Makers (landless labourers), continues to lag behind in all indicators of social development. They represent a large segment of the urban population who lack adequate access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. The paper analyses the serious interventions required and the focus on sanitation targets to enable the City Makers to live a dignified life in the event of the rapid urbanisation taking place in the country.
This is another short paper which talks about right to sanitation from the perspective of the physically challenged persons. The paper provides lessons and ways to improve the quality and effectiveness of development through the inclusion of persons with disabilities and their right to WASH. The paper also reviews some of the international and national mandates on disability access to WASH services good practices in measuring the impact for making WASH effective on the ground and policy level.
Adivasis or the indigenous people of India have an altogether different system for sanitation, which is often considered as unhygienic practice by the so-called modern urbanised Indians. The paper examines the incompatibility between the traditional practice of sanitation and the prevailing toilet-centric state approach to resolve open defecation. The paper also attempts to explore the possibility of evolving a model of best practices for right to sanitation in the Adivasi areas. It also speaks about the challenges faced by them due to reduction in land space due to encroachment on their properties in the name of development.
Upstream-downstream river conflicts occur often due to competing water uses/users for a limited water resource. Construction of dams and diversions further aggregate this problem. The Kerala Resource Centre carried out a research programme in the Chalakudy river in Kerala and came up with a reservoir operation model (ROM) to address the downstream conflicts arising from the upstream flow regulation. The ROM can improve the downstream water management and flows in the river. The paper also talks about the steps to be taken to develop an appropriate ROM.
Over several years of Forum’s research on water conflicts, it is observed that conflicts arise due to lack of clear understanding on entitlements and allocations of water for basic needs, livelihood needs and environmental needs. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a framework for determining such entitlements and allocations that ensure just and equitable access of water to all and at the same time maintains all the ecosystem functions. The framework presents important elements and recommendations to manage and resolve conflicts.
The paper is based on the small working group which Forum had constituted to discuss and research on the existing legal and institutional regimes governing the water sector and revisit them if one needs to address and resolve water conflicts in a just, sustainable, equitable and democratic manner. The policy paper briefly discusses the situation regarding different water sources and outlines a new legal and institutional framework and thereby the immediate steps that need to be taken.