Citizens' Rights and Duties

  • The conventional freshwater sources available in India are being currently overexploited, leading to widespread environmental degradation and depletion of freshwater resources especially groundwater. To sustain the needs of an increasing population and ecology, our consumption of water far exce...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 months 6 days agoread more
  • India has the most people in the world without access to safe drinking water (133.9 million). Many studies indicate that poor and marginalized populations are the worst affected from waterborne diseases resulting from the consumption of contaminated water. The issue warrants urgent attention as each...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 months 1 week agoread more
  • Maharashtra has the highest COVID-19 cases in the country and the government is taking a slew of measures to flatten the curve. We speak to Mr. Yusuf Kabir, WASH specialist and emergency focal point for UNICEF Mumbai, who is at the forefront of the containment efforts to find out about their efforts...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 months 1 week agoread more
  • Over the last four decades, watershed management has emerged as one of the most decentralised, integrated, persisting, innovative and effective programs to enhance natural resources such as water, soil and the vegetative cover as well as to provide means of livelihood to marginalised sections in rur...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • As the Covid-19 pandemic reaches new corners of the country, the NGO community in India has been preparing itself to respond to the unexpected needs that the crisis is producing. DHAN Foundation, a professional development organisation working in several states of India with the communities has begu...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • COVID-19 (novel coronavirus disease), an acute respiratory disease emerged in late 2019 and has been spreading rapidly across the globe. The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. It is marked by respiratory problems that are usually mild (coughing, fever) but can be severe (pne...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 months 4 weeks agoread more
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared coronavirus disease a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed almost the entire globe, and claimed more than 41,000 lives, while over 8 lakh people are infected already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 months 4 weeks agoread more
  • The Forest Rights Act or FRA was enacted in 2006, following collective pressure from a massive social movement to correct the historical injustices imposed since the colonial takeover of India's forests. Community Forest Resource (CFR) Rights recognized under FRA transfers collective rights and resp...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 months 19 hours agoread more
  • Water is a precious natural resource that ensures human well-being. However, across the globe there is a severe water crisis, which is heightened by issues of inaccessibility and contamination. “The right to water and sanitation is a human right equal to all other human rights, which implies that ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 months 3 days agoread more
  • Developments in geographical information systems (GIS) in India, both in policy and law, have thus far empowered to a greater extent government and business at national and regional level. The real challenge in this sector is to extend this technology to local communities for self-governance and to ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 months 5 days agoread more
  • Disasters have the ability to disrupt everyday life. However, it is not often that we probe about what constitutes a disaster? How do we define it? Well, a disaster varies in definition for different agencies. As professionals, we have found various answers to what constitutes a disaster and its typ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 months 6 days agoread more
  • In the wake of a scandal revealing that the World Bank may have suppressed knowledge of money for the poor being siphoned off by elites, all eyes are on the Bank to see whether its commitments to the poor hold water. Now, the Bank has a chance to demonstrate its commitment to vulnerable co...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 months 1 week agoread more
  • Historically, water is a gendered burden, with women being the primary caregivers responsible for cooking, washing and cleaning chores in the house and in modern times in institutions (teachers, anganwadi and healthcare workers). Women have traditionally been associated with various w...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Limca Book of Records recognises UP's Banda for water conservation efforts Uttar Pradesh’s Banda district has entered the Limca Book of Records for the construction of 2,605 contour trenches and holding 469 jal choupals (village water parliaments) in a single month. The efforts were made und...
    swatiposted 3 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Many of the challenges sanitation workers face, stem from their lack of visibility in society, says a report ‘Health, Safety and Dignity of Sanitation Workers’ produced jointly by The World Bank, International Labour Organization (ILO), WaterAid and the World Health Organization (WHO)....
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 months 1 day agoread more
  • Parasite, the South Korean movie released in 2019 has gained attention worldwide especially after its historical win at the Oscars 2020. The film takes on two different worlds co-existing in a country but set apart by class and wealth. The introduction of the Kim family living in a semi-basement in ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 months 5 days agoread more
  • Surrounded by vast expanses of water, the Kuttanad region in Alleppey district, Kerala faces severe drinking water scarcity due to infrastructure failure and civic body inaction. This picture-perfect expanse that lies at the heart of the backwaters experiences “frequent floods, waterlogging, conta...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 months 6 days agoread more
  • It’s a dull reality that the state of water in the urban slum of Lalbagh near Azadpur in north Delhi was awful till a few years back. Hoards of people would queue up to get water from the public taps or the tankers along the road. Life was tough here and people got access to piped water supply onl...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 months 1 week agoread more
  • “Every single number in the budget, be it receipts or expenditure is a lie. The budget numbers can no longer be trusted, as the difference between actual expenditure and budget estimates are off by around 25 percent. The year ends at the end of March, and the estimates are based on data only till ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget announcement on February 1, 2020 made a push for piped rural drinking water supply and promised full coverage of all households by 2024. Last year, the National Rural Drinking Water Mission (NRDWM) was restructured and subsumed into Jal Jeevan...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 months 3 weeks agoread more

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Interventions that increase dependencies and use of local resources to resolve challenges locally can help increase resilience of farmers.

Covid-19 pandemic has unleashed multiple challenges in different geographies, especially for the vulnerable groups living in areas that already have existing issues of water and food security. India Natural Resource Economics and Management (INREM) Foundation has worked in such areas for many years to resolve challenges around water contamination by strengthening governance systems and raising awareness.

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It’s time that public policy focuses on a radical re-envisioning of urban spaces and on improving social inclusion of migrants in urban settings.

When migrants headed home after Covid-19 lockdown 1.0, Sarojini was suddenly caught off-guard. She decided against moving, after an initial urge to leave for her village in Samastipur, Bihar. Her two sons stay with her at Delhi, doing daily wage labour work, while she works as a domestic help. After eating frugally for the first few days, and unable to access dry rations provided by the state, they came across cooked meals at a feeding centre, but the queue was endless.

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There is a need to have basic institutional structures such as market, credit, insurance, research, extension service etc., in place in rainfed regions.

The global crisis due to Covid-19 has hit India after coursing through western Europe. India’s response to curtail the spread of the disease was quite decisive. It announced a Janata curfew on March 22, followed by a complete national lockdown from the midnight of March 24. This, however, exposed the fault lines in our system: thousands of migrant workers got stuck at various places, especially in metro cities, as they could not get enough time to plan their return. Providing them basic support like ration and shelter became a herculean task for the establishment. 

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Collective management, participation and equity are the foundations on which community economies are sustained.

The exodus of migrant workers from urban areas back to their villages in the wake of country wide lockdown has brought rural poverty into sharp focus. Reconstruction of rural economy therefore needs policy and planning attention. Community economy is a branch of rural economy and among other ways of reconstructing the rural economy, promotion and strengthening of community economies of the poor is important.

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Institutions are a key arsenal in rural India's pandemic fight.

Covid-19 will have major implications in rural areas where the Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), a non-profit organisation has been working towards conservation of natural resources through collective action of local communities. Experience indicates that the complete lockdown to contain the spread of the disease has resulted in loss of rural incomes. The risk of spread of the virus too has increased with migrants returning to villages.

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India can use its flagship public employment program (MGNREGS) to transform lives of its underprivileged population in the Covid-19 context, and live up to its promise of a welfare state.

As India continues to unravel the actual scale of economic impacts in a world infested by the dangerous Covid-19 virus, lingering images of daily wage labourers and migrant workers attempting a near impossible walk home have been etched in public consciousness. Lives and livelihoods of these labourers have been shattered and their long walks home have been met with hostility, forced quarantines, insensitive and often unscientific procedures in the name of sterilization, suspicion from their own people, and political games on their travel fares to return home.

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Utthan promotes self-sufficient food production areas with internal dependencies, as the pandemic causes disruptions from food to fork.

Reshamben, Manguben and Naseemben, strong women leaders of Vanita Shakti Mahila Sangathan and Ekta Mahila Sangathan, have always argued that government ration shops under the public distribution system should purchase all essential foodgrains from the local area, to the extent possible.

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A rapid study highlights the plight of homebound migrant workers of Mirzapur and Prayagraj districts of Uttar Pradesh after Lockdown 1.0

Raj Kumar, 32, a daily wager employed at a factory in Delhi had barely a thousand rupees in his wallet when he readied to rush back to his village in Halia block of Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh. On a normal April afternoon, he took the highway that leads to his district hearing about the 21-day lockdown. It took him over a week, as he walked down all the way to his village fearing starvation amid the Covid-19 crisis. Kumar trudged hundreds of kilometres along deserted highways by foot along with a few of his acquaintances.

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Oxfam India along with its partners is striving to broaden its humanitarian relief response to fight coronavirus.

In the last one week of starting its humanitarian relief response to fight coronavirus, Oxfam India along with its partners have provided dry ration to around 40,000 poor people, cooked meals served to nearly 40,000 migrant labourers, distributed 2660 safety kits to frontline workers and reached 4.5 million people through awareness initiatives in India.

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The "heal as one" narrative is a false one as the poorest are the most vulnerable to the disease.

 

With Covid-19 spreading its wings across the world, the impact on quality of life and access to basic human rights will be felt exceedingly more in the global south. It is the nature of disasters, to bare the inherent socio-economic inequities in societies, that are invisibilized during normal times. The Covid-19 pandemic, an unprecedented public health disaster, is a case in point.

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