Water and Social Exclusion

To deliberate on the various facets of water issues for the socially excluded, a consultation meeting was organised by CADAM in partnership with Water Aid India on Water and Social Exclusion on 19th January 2010, at India International Centre (IIC) Delhi. The consultation was divided into four sessions. The first session included presentations from government and peoples’ representatives. It had participation from the Ministry of Water Resources where Lalit Kumar, Director, Central Water Commission was present. Satya NarainJatia, former Union Cabinet Minister, Social Justice and Empowerment, who was expected to be part of the first session, joined the consultation in the session after lunch. In the second session, there were presentations from Civil Society representatives which included representatives from Solution Exchange, United Nations, India Water Foundation and Water Aid with its partners (CREATE). The third session included the presentation of case studies from field representatives from different states of India. It included participants from Gujarat, Odisha, Bihar, Maharashtra, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bundelkhand, Haryana, UP, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. The concluding session summed up the future action points deliberated in the consultation for action and advocacy. It was observed and suggested that stories from different states have opened new doors for more serious engagement and will allow us to think and perform tangibly. As a short-term action, a report will be developed from this consultation which can help in building advocacy. Some in-depth case studies may be documented and on the basis of it, dialogue with the government could be carried forward.

CADAM in partnership with Water Aid India organised a national consultation in New Delhi at Vishwa Yuva Kendra on 26th September 2013. The objective of the consultation was to provide insights and guidance for a national advocacy agenda for ending violence against Scheduled Caste Women in India. In the consultation, CADAM shared the findings of its study which was conducted to assess the access of Scheduled Castes in WASH services. The consultation also brought voices from the ground and inspired Dalit rights networks to take up WASH access as part of their agenda to address violence against Dalit women. 20 district coordinators of 20 districts along with women with 15 live case studies from these districts and other intervention districts were part of the consultation.

A two-day national consultation, “Dalit Women Speak Out: Water, Safety and Freedom from Violence” was organised in partnership with Christian Aid, Oxfam India and Water Aid and WPC on 5th-6th December 2013. The consultation brought together more than 60 Scheduled Caste women who were also PRI (Panchayat Raj Institution) members to discuss challenges and successes in addressing violence, discrimination and access to water and sanitation facilities in the villages. The event provided a platform for sharing good practices and models addressing violence against Scheduled Caste women and also get recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the mechanisms which have been put in place for the protection of their rights. This consultation raised awareness on key strategies, approaches, documents and tools developed by National and State Governments, International and National Civil society organisations and networks working in India which will further support in finding effective and cost-effective ways to empower the Dalit Women and improve their lives.

A two-day National Convention was organised on Access of Dalit Communities to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene on 14th-15th February 2014, at Multi-Purpose Hall, India International Centre (IIC), New Delhi. National Convention on Access of Dalit Communities to Water Sanitation and Hygiene was designed to advance our knowledge and scholarship. This National Convention was inaugurated by Honourable Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, Minister for Welfare (SC & ST, Backward & Economically Backward Classes) of Govt. of Bihar. Pradeep Kumar Jain, Union Minister of State for Rural Development also addressed the convention on the second day. Narendra Jadhav, member of the Planning Commission advised for sending all the presentation and recommendation to Planning Commission. Anoop Kumar Srivastava, additional secretary to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment emphasised on bridging the gap between Dalits and non-Dalits.

State level orientation workshops of Dalit, CSO and PRI leaders were organised on National RuralDrinking Water Programme (NRDWP) and Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) in five states i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The objective of the state level orientations was:

  • Orienting Dalit PRI members on their roles and responsibilities and scope of work regarding the National Rural Drinking Water Programme.
  • Orienting Dalit CSO leaders to monitor the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) and Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA).

Around 600 participants from five states were oriented on the guideline of National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) and Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) so that there is an improvement in the implementation of these programs.

CADAM along with its partner organisations has organised a number of activities on the occasion of the World Toilet Day on 19th November in Haryana. On this occasion, Funeral Procession of Missing Toilets and public meetings were organised in Sonipat and Kaithal districts of Haryana to highlight the gaps in Government’s reporting on sanitation. These events were intended to sensitise the government and community on the importance of good sanitation and hygiene. It also drew the attention of the local government to address the problem of open defecation.