|

Newsletters

"Water and Well-Being in India" 18th Dec 2017

Access to Safer Water
Dug-well survey for scientific water use
Centre for Environment Education is conducting a survey of various dug-wells in and around the city to spread awareness on the right way to utilise these water sources. The survey will cover documentation, mapping and assessment of the existing dug-wells in the city as experts feel many of these have become a pit for dumping garbage over the years. Speaking to Mirror, Amarnath Karan, project-in-charge of Centre for Environment Education, said, “Dugwells use the first aquifer of groundwater and thus they are not very deep. Through this survey not only will we be able to take a note of the existing dug-wells but in future can also document the condition of water level
Tackling the Ganges superbugs
Few people are surprised to hear that Indian waterways, including the holy Ganges River that sweeps across north India and Bangladesh, are a common source of stomach bugs and illnesses. Sanitation is notoriously poor in this country of 1.3 billion people; about half the inhabitants do not even have access to a toilet; and hundreds of children die each day from easily preventable ailments such as diarrhoea. What is less well known is that the waters of the Ganges can also carry so-called ‘superbugs’: bacteria with antibiotic resistance genes to fortify the bugs against any medicines that might be taken to cure disease.
No evidence of China diverting water of Siang: CWC
"CWC has been closely monitoring the water levels of Siang and Brahmaputra but there is no evidence of any diversion of the Yarlung Tsangpo as the water levels on Indian side have not changed," a central government official said. Water samples of Siang river which were sent to CWC laboratory in New Delhi for toxic content have tested negative. "We were worried about possibility of toxic content but with the negative results now, the water is still fit for human consumption after proper filtering," the official said.
Satellite images prove China's malafide intentions of diverting Brahmaputra water into desert
The bad intentions of China have again surfaced and this time with evidence of satellite images too. The latest satellite images shows how China has deflected the claims of India of diverting and polluting water of river Siang in Arunachal Pradesh. Speaking exclusively to India Today, Group Satellite Imagery Expert Colonel Vinayak Bhat (Retd.) confirmed the same, "China has stopped the water of Brahmaputra completely. At a place 60 km away into the territory, that is where they have constructed their dam of almost 200 m wide and the blockage is almost 900 m in length along the river, the entire water force has been channeled under the mountain through two tunnels which are almost 50 m wide and the entire river has been diverted through the mountains and it comes out almost 900 m on the north of that particular point," he said "This means they are trying to do something with the entire river water of Brahmaputra which will affect the entire Indian agriculture tomorrow. Because if they are planning to divert this water which seems to be the case, this is going to harm the amount of water coming into India," added Bhat.
India says Chinese construction on river dirtying water
Officials in India's northeast are complaining that Chinese construction activity on the upper reaches of one of the largest rivers that flows into India are likely turning the waters downstream turbid and unfit for human consumption. Over the weekend, Sarbananda Sonowal, the chief minister of India's Assam state, said the Brahmaputra river was contaminated with bacteria and iron, with laboratory tests declaring its waters unfit for human consumption. Sonowal asked that the Indian government take up the matter with Beijing.
Meet India's dam-building grandmother
The trust works with local communities to find parts of the landscape that can capture water, like a reservoir. Instead of building man-made reservoirs from scratch, they use the natural contours of the hilly landscape, building slopes, and shoring up
Meet India's "Water Mother" Who Helped Provide Water to Over 300 villages in Arid Region
Ruia founded India's Aakar Charitable Trust which provides grants to rural areas that are the driest in the South Asian country. India's 71-year-old Amla Ruia is called the “Water Mother” for leading a campaign that helped provide water in over 300 villages in the arid desert region of Rajasthan in western India. Ruia – who uses traditional water harvesting methods – founded the Aakar Charitable Trust which provides grants to the local rural areas, which are the driest in the South Asian country, with the necessary resources to build the check dams. A portion of the contributions come from the local residents, which empowers local farmers to gain partial ownership of the project. So far, the trust has helped open nearly 200 dams
Auto-chlorination to increase water purity
West Godavari District Collector K Bhaskar said that auto-chlorination system would be implemented in 1,700 drinking water schemes in the district within three months for protection of public health on Friday.
India declared free from Trachoma, a bacterial infection of eye
India has been declared free from infective Trachoma which is a contagious bacterial infection of the eye. The Minister said, this has been possible due to efforts that included provision of antibiotic eye drops, personal hygiene, availability of safe water, improved environmental sanitation and availability of surgical facilities for chronic Trachoma.
Health ministry declares India free from chronic infective eye disease ‘trachoma’
The Union health minister stated that the Survey results indicate that active trachoma is no longer a public health problem in India. “We have met the goal of trachoma elimination as specified by the WHO under its GET2020 programme. This has been possible due to decades of inter-sectoral interventions and efforts that included provision of antibiotic eye drops, personal hygiene, availability of safe water, improved environmental sanitation, availability of surgical facilities for chronic trachoma, and a general improvement in the socio-economic status in the country,” he said.
India declared free of contagious eye infection trachoma
Nadda said trachoma has been eliminated due to efforts that included provision of antibiotic eye drops, personal hygiene, availability of safe water and improved environmental sanitation etc. Trachoma is common in children till nine years of age.
A "momentous achievement": India now free of infective trachoma, says Nadda
Announcing the successful elimination of Infective Trachoma from India among the senior Health Ministry officials and faculty from Opthalmology Department of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Union Health and Family Welfare Minister JP Nadda called it a momentous achievement. On Friday, Nadda declared India free of infective trachoma, which has been a leading cause of infectious blindness among children. The minister said that the survey findings indicate that the active trachoma infection has been eliminated among children in all the survey districts with overall prevalence of only 0.7 percent. "This is much below the elimination criteria of infective trachoma as defined by the WHO. The survey findings indicate that the active trachoma infection has been eliminated among children in all the survey districts with overall prevalence of only 0.7 percent," said Nadda, who also launched the National Trachoma Survey Report (2014-17)
There are alternatives to dams, but we are not talking about them: experts
“India is the third largest dam-building nation in the world after China and the US. We have more than 5,000 large dams. Despite that, India’s annual per capita water storage capacity is 225 cubic metres, which is far less compared to China (1,200 cubic metres),” says T G Sitharam, professor at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. According to Sitharam, the fact that the per capita availability of water per year in India is 879 cubic metres and it is a water-scarce nation does not mean that there is shortage of water but there is lack of storage of water or water management. And dams don’t solve the problem of lack of water storage. On the contrary, the storage capacity of a river is reduced to 75 per cent due to the problem of silting.
Nagaland Land Resources Dept mitigating climate change
The National Water Mission (NWM) – one of the missions under the National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) which was launched in 2009 as a nation-wide effort to tackle climate change – has pointed to the need for sustainable development along with efficient management of water resources. With studies showing that groundwater levels across India is getting depleted on account of increasing demand for water from a growing population, there is an urgent need for taking measures to minimize the depletion of the groundwater. The Nagaland State Land Resources Department has taken up projects across the state to turn forest and other hitherto unused land into productive and thriving ecosystems. While the Department has data of rainfall of the last one and half year, there is no data to check if the springsheds have helped recharge the ground water. However, locals insist that the springsheds have helped increase the flow of water in the area.
Two labourers die after drinking water from farm well in Andhra Pradesh's Vizianagaram
Two farmhands died and four others were admitted to hospital after they suddenly fell sick while loading freshly harvested paddy on to bullock carts at Kella village of Gurla mandal in Vizianagaram district on Saturday evening. According to police, the labourers drank water from an open well nearby hours before they fell sick and they suspect that the water might be contaminated with pesticide. However, the exact reasons for the incident is yet to be ascertained, said Gurla sub-inspector Ravi.
Capture and Retention of Water
CM inaugurates water harvesting model at Ranchi ashram
On the occasion of World Soil Day, Chief Minister Raghubar Das inaugurated water harvesting model at Ram Krishna Mission Ashram here on Tuesday and pledged to create a new and affluent Jharkhand. He asked people to follow the path of Swami Vivekanand and create India of his dreams. Das said that one should not solely depend on bureaucracy for development as its consequences have been seen in the past 67 years. “Mission to double the income of farmers under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has started and farmers are given instruction about better agriculture. Our joint effort can end poverty in the state full of natural resources,” he said. The CM admired Vivekanand Seva Sangh working in 120 villages of Ranchi, Ramgarh and Khunti by Ram Krishana Mission and said that an ssistance of 8 thousand rupees per month will be given to them.
As rains grow erratic, Pakistan taps irrigation to protect Punjab crops
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday approved a $275 million loan for the project, which is supported by the Indus River System Authority (IRSA), a government agency that oversees water sharing between provinces. “Having a sufficient and effective irrigation system is fundamental in the development of Pakistan’s agriculture sector, a significant driver of the country’s economy,” said Ryutaro Takaku, a water specialist at the bank’s Central and West Asia Department. The project “will help increase agricultural production and improve food security in Pakistan”, he noted in a press release. System aims to capture floodwater and monsoon runoff to boost food production in climate change-hit region.
Dual piping and Linganmakki are BDA"s answer to meet water demand in 2031
“The water woes of the city in 2031, with over 20.03 million people, will be much worse than what the draft RMP 2031 predicts,” said S. Vishwanath, a water conservation expert. While for most megacities, the per capita water demand is 200 LPCD (multiplied by the total population), which includes industrial water demand as well, the draft RMP considers 135 LPCD for domestic (multiplied by the total population) and 90 LPCD (multiplied by the working population, which is taken as 60% of the total population) for non-domestic — estimates that will derail projects. The plan does not mention Rain Water Harvesting (RWH), a major lacuna, even as the BWSSB has begun aggressively pursuing RWH even for old buildings to reduce the per capita demand.
Delhi schools, colleges get 60 days to instal water-harvesting systems
The National Green Tribunal on Thursday directed all schools and colleges here to install rainwater harvesting systems within two months at their own cost, or be liable to pay a fine of Rs 5 lakh. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said any institution that fails to install a rainwater harvesting system within two months may have to pay environment compensation of Rs 5 lakh. A water harvesting system channels rain that falls on roofs and courtyards into storage tanks after flushing out the water from the first spell, which can be polluted.
Tamil Nadu: Agriculture department steps up water harvesting work
Eight hundred farm ponds in dry Ramnad district have been identified and half of them deepened ahead of northeast monsoon. “Farm ponds are cost effective rain water harvesting structures and the project has now gained momentum among the farming community. The water stored in the farm ponds can be used for supplemental irrigation of rainfed crops like chillies, pulses and millets during critical stages of growth”, explained an official with agriculture department.
Nagaland Land Resources Dept mitigating climate change
The National Water Mission (NWM) – one of the missions under the National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) which was launched in 2009 as a nation-wide effort to tackle climate change – has pointed to the need for sustainable development along with efficient management of water resources. With studies showing that groundwater levels across India is getting depleted on account of increasing demand for water from a growing population, there is an urgent need for taking measures to minimize the depletion of the groundwater. The Nagaland State Land Resources Department has taken up projects across the state to turn forest and other hitherto unused land into productive and thriving ecosystems. While the Department has data of rainfall of the last one and half year, there is no data to check if the springsheds have helped recharge the ground water. However, locals insist that the springsheds have helped increase the flow of water in the area.
Enabling Women
Women in Delhi Use Open Information Law to Get Services
A law that permits Indians to get information about their government is helping a group of women in Delhi get needed services. The women have led a successful campaign demanding that city officials improve access to water, waste removal services and transportation. The women live in Savda Ghevra, a slum resettlement colony for people who have been moved from extremely poor areas. It is the largest such colony outside of the city of New Delhi. The success of the women is a rare example of poor people in India using the Right to Information Act to change their community.
India – No toilets for women in PM Modi’s Gujarat Hometown
The 150 families of Nadoi wish the government’s makeover plane had included them. The PM’s toilet scheme would be a good start. “We have to go outside. Not one of us has a toilet at home,” a woman tells us in Gujarati. The women point at open drains and the filth around them as proof of neglect. There is no electricity, no water supply and no gas either, they say. “We have to walk to a well to draw water every day,” said another woman (name etc?). “We would like to vote but no one has ever visited us asking for votes.”
Is India on target?
Malnutrition is the most alarming and persistent health problem faced by the world today as per a recent report of the International Food Policy Research Institute. The frightening statistics of infant mortality and retardation raises serious questions about the development models pursued by governments across the globe. Nearly half of all deaths of children under the age of five are attributable to malnutrition; 155 million children under the age of five are afflicted by stunting caused because they did not get adequate nutrition in the first 1,000 days of their lives (UNICEF).
Six Factors That Could Reduce Malnutrition In Madhya Pradesh
Women's empowerment, better sanitation, improvements in maternal health could improve the nutritional status of children Madhya Pradesh, the state with 42% of its children under five years of age stunted or, short for their age, the fifth highest rate in the country, according to IndiaSpend analysis of 2015-16 data from the National Family Health Survey
Free medical checkup at night shelters
The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board rolled out its winter action plan on Friday. Through its 20 rescue teams, the agency has intensified efforts to bring the city's homeless to its 250 night shelters — where it will serve them tea and biscuits. Also, the agency will provide hot water at 83 permanent night shelters. Around 20 shelters are reserved for women and are monitored for their safety.
After sanitation issue, Akshay Kumar now discusses menstrual hygiene in "PadMan"
Akshay Kumar always chooses an unconventional way to raise awareness about social issues. After delivering a hit like ‘Toilet; Ek Prem Katha’, he is now back with another flick, which promises to be the story of a social awakening. The makers have released official trailer of Kumar’s upcoming movie ‘PadMan’ on social media. A film based on the real-life story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, who took upon himself the responsibility of providing cheaper sanitary napkins to the women of his village. In PadMan, Akshay plays the titular superhero, who strives to provide a hygienic life to the women of his family. His interest and efforts is to ease the experience of menstruation for hundreds of Indian women, especially those living in rural areas.
Hope Padman will start conversations within homes: Twinkle Khanna
Her debut film production “Padman” is a biopic on Arunachalam Muruganantham, the inventor of a low-cost sanitary pad making machine in India. Actress-turned-author Twinkle Khanna says she is hopeful that the film will bring a spotlight on something that has been “hidden in the darkness” for so long. “If nothing else, I am hoping that it will start a conversation within homes,” Twinkle told IANS in an email interview when asked about the message “Padman” will give amongst masses.
In India and Tanzania, women"s NGOs are ushering in development – and not getting credit for it
Women’s non-governmental organisations also conducted research to determine whether local communities could afford to pay for basic urban services. They negotiated subsidies, fair pricing and flexible terms of payment with utilities on behalf of marginalised people. They arranged access to loans from microfinance institutions for households that could not cover the cost of water or electricity connections. And by insisting that water and electricity bills be issued in the names of female heads of households, they strengthened women’s access to property and housing.
More work but not enough wages for women in India
According to a study, women spend two to ten times more time on unpaid work. The recently released Action Aid report in collaboration with UN women, Invisible Work, Invisible Workers - The Sub-Economies of Unpaid Work and Paid Work, said that it has emerged that not only do more women engage in unpaid work compared to men, this is in addition to their paid activities; this creates a burden for them with implications on various facets of their life cycle – on their health, on their ability to acquire education, skills, a paid job and an independent income as well as a voice and social status.
Viewing National Water Policies through a Gendered Lens
Despite the international recognition accorded to the key role played by women in issues around water, the extent to which India’s national water policies accommodate gender concerns remains to be examined. Based on an in-depth content analysis of the three nwps—of 1987, 2002, and 2012—this paper argues that incorporation of women in the planning, provisioning, and management of water resources continues to be disregarded. Women’s concerns in the water sector are articulated around their domestic roles and subsumed under notions of “household” and “social equity.” The larger questions of water rights of women, both in terms of access and control over decision-making, remain unaddressed.
Clean energy can potentially transform the lives of millions of rural Indian women
A recent study by OECD found that women in India work nine hours a day on average, compared to seven hours a day for men. Most of this time is spent on unpaid activities, such as household work and care-giving for the elderly or for children, leaving little time for paid labour or social and leisure activities. This scarcity of discretionary time is referred to as “time poverty.” While unpaid labour by women is a global phenomenon, the problem is particularly acute in India, where women’s unpaid labour hours are second only to women in Kazakhstan, and the tasks performed by them are particularly intense and arduous, such as carrying water and chopping firewood.
Ivanka Trump to promote women in India amid questions about garment workers who make her clothes there
Looming over Ivanka Trump's visit will be an uncomfortable question that Trump’s company has refused to answer: What are the work conditions for laborers in India who have pieced together clothes for her fashion line? Trump has called for more support for working women around the world, but she has remained silent about the largely female garment workforce in India and other Asian countries that makes her clothing.
What about living women"s honour?
Owing to economic inequality, poor hygiene and low proportion of women in the legislature, India has slipped down from 87 last year to 108 out of 144 countries, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). India ranks 139 in 'Economic Participation and Opportunities for Women'. The most abysmal for Indian women is 141th rank in 'Health and Survival', which is a terrible disgrace. Woefully, women will struggle and cease to be if they fail to fall in line with what men approve of! Female subjugation in India is long, hard, clumsy, toxic and coercive.
What is on the wish list of women in India PM Modi"s hometown?
As we approached the town of Vadnagar in the western Indian state of Gujarat, the glitter and shine of the government's most ambitious flagship scheme Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or "Clean India Mission" felt dim. A group of female students took me to a nearby ground where they would go to defecate in the open every morning. The fact that Rohit Vaas still has two separate defecation grounds for men and women demonstrates that the benefits of a 10.9mn rupee (about $168,800; £126,700) fund allocated for building toilets in rural areas have not reached parts of Mr Modi's own village.
These women have broken all stereotypes to improve sanitation in rural India
As India pitches headlong into making toilets in the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), there are heart-warming stories of women leading campaigns for better lives in their panchayats against heavy odds. A small percentage of the 271,000 villages that have rid themselves of open defecation can be attributed solely to the efforts of these women. Research has shown women gain more than men from better sanitation and hygiene. They can use toilets in the safety of their homes and do not have to face insults or harassment when defecating or urinating in the open. Their health improves as they do not have to 'hold on' until dark. Using toilets reduces the risk of getting urinary tract infections, diarrhoea and water-borne infections. Women, as block development officers, sarpanches, jalabandhus and self-help group (SHG) members, have demonstrated sanitation improvements are possible utilising local resources and strategies.
Rajasthan's education department"s magazine asks women to grind chakki and fill water pitchers to stay fit
The Rajasthan education department is in the grip of controversy after one of its publications suggested women to grind chakki (stone grinder), fill water pitchers or mop floors in order to stay fit. These suggestions were published in the November issue of the department's monthly magazine, Shivira (Shiksha Vibhag Rajasthan).
Governance and Empowerment
Malnutrition burden in India remains high, nutrition profiles of 640 districts reveal
The government’s flagship program National Nutrition Mission (NNM) has a clear picture of the challenges it faces in dealing with malnutrition after the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) on Wednesday released nutrition profiles of all states and 640 districts of India. The malnutrition burden in India remains high despite some progress and there is tremendous inter-state and inter-district variability, the district wise nutrition profiles show. NITI Aayog officials said the district wise data would help the government in taking localized action to support the NNM’s target of bringing down stunting percentage from 38.4% to 25% by 2022, and reducing stunting, under-nutrition, and low birth weight by 2%, and anaemia by 3% per annum.
The Dignity Mind-Set for Scaling Social Change
Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM), working in the state of Karnataka, serves 2.5 million people—including indigenous tribals and the rural and urban poor—in the fields of health, education, and community development. But the organization’s founder, Dr. R. Balasubramaniam (Balu), says he never loses sight of the organization’s original inspiration: one elderly woman. She lost her sole source of emotional and economic support when her son died in the hospital where Balu was a third-year medical student. Her loss was doubly painful, as she couldn’t afford the prescribed medicines that might have saved him. Balu asserts that his failed attempt at consoling the grieving woman drove him to launch an organization that would work within the system to advance the rights of tribal people “to live a dignified life.”
Niti Aayog is in denial about hunger in India – but the problem is worse than the statistics show
The Global Hunger Index put out by International Food Policy and Research Institute was released on October 2017 and tracks the state of hunger worldwide. India’s Global Hunger Index score is placed at 100 out of 119 countries. Instead of reflecting on the state of food security in India, Ramesh Chand and Shivendra Kumar Srivastava, both members of the Niti Aayog, called the Global Hunger Index “a misleading hunger index” in an article of the same name published in The Hindu on December 4. The article is of particular concern, coming as it does from an important arm of the government
This #UKCharityWeek, why not donate a Tweet? Join WaterHarvest for their #IPromiseWater Campaign!
Today, at 18:30 thousands of people will register a clear and loud message that water is a right that should be afforded to all and not something determined by where you live or what your gender, race, religion or ethnicity is. However, WaterHarvest needs your help to ensure this message is heard far and wide. That is why this #UKCharityWeek WaterHarvest is asking you to donate a tweet to its #IPromiseWater Thunderclap campaign.
Water Aid's comments on Swachh Bharat "Out of Order"
A recent report by Water Aid may end up misleading readers about the present status of sanitation in India, as it fails to clarify that its findings are not based on the latest data. The report, titled 'Out of Order - The State of the World's Toilets 2017,' quotes data from the WHO-UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), which extrapolates data on sanitation based on findings from studies between carried out between 2000 and 2015. Due to this, it misses most of the progress made under the Swachh Bharat Mission, which aims to eradicate open defecation from the country by October 2019.
British couple who spent 30 years in search of "Wells for India"
Rajasthan has become a second home for a British couple who regularly come here for three decades in their mission to help the unprivileged section get access to water. Nicholas Grey and his wife Mary Grey have founded 'Wells for India', a support and fund-raising organization.
Improving Sanitation
Understanding the Indian rural sanitation market
As a follow-up to the Sanitation Innovation Accelerator, IRC, Ennovent and Ecociate Consultants commissioned a study to gain insights in the sanitation market in Bihar and Odisha, two states with relatively low levels of sanitation coverage: 29% and 43% respectively. The study was conducted over a period of 3 months (from January to March 2017) in two rural districts: one with a high population density and situated in a heavy clay silt agricultural plain (Samastipur district, Bihar) and the other with a low population density situated in a sandy tropical coast (Ganjam district, Odisha). The study came up with several recommendations detailed in this story..
Eram Scientific Wins India’s First-ever Swachh Bharat Hackathon For e-Toilet Innovation
Eram Group, a diversified business conglomerate headquartered in Dubai, announced that its group company - Eram Scientific Solutions has won the Swachhathon 1.0 award in India’s first-ever Swachh Bharat Hackathon, organized by the Indian Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. Eram won the maiden Swachhathon 1.0 award in a hotly contested competition by trumping both domestic and foreign firms working on the sanitation technology space. The Hackathon received a massive response in six categories. Eram won the award in the `Monitoring Usage of Toilets’ category.
Bill Ford Better World Challenge Projects Expand to India and Mexico
The Ford Motor Company Fund, and executive chairman Bill Ford, announced the award of $200,000 in funding as part of the Bill Ford Better World Challenge. This grant will support two international projects to improve health and sanitation conditions in India and Mexico. These two recipients will be joined by a third award allocated later in 2018. The first grant for the 2018 year has been awarded in the rural district of Kancheepuram, India, just outside of Chennai, where toilets and private restroom facilities are nonexistent. The grant will provide 100 residential SMART toilets in three villages for a total of 300 toilets. The SMART toilet facility is equipped with lighting, allowing for hand washing, and provides twin pits for sustainable use and maintenance.
A Cultural View of Sanitation
Ending open defecation isn't just about building more toilets—it's also about making sure the culture is receptive to new sanitation practices.
Stakeholders meeting on ‘Clean India’ campaign
A district-level consultative meeting on ‘Clean India’ campaign was organised here on Wednesday by the district administration. The meeting was presided over by District Collector C. Kathiravan. The campaign is implemented in the district with the participation of Bengaluru-based non-governmental organisation ‘Public Affairs Centre’ and Krishnagiri-based Annai Trust. According to the district administration, the panchayats of Thimmapuram in Kaveripattinam, Billanakuppam in Vepanapalli, and Chennapalli in Shoolagiri have been declared ‘Clean Panchayats’ as per the norms of the campaign. As many as 149 panchayats in the district have attained open-defecation free status and over 72% of the households in the district have their own individual toilets.
Chinese and Indian toilet revolutions look to Singapore's bottom line
President Xi Jinping has called for a “toilet revolution”, which will be the centrepiece of his “new countryside” drive. The goal is to improve the quality of life of the country’s 600 million villagers – the same number of people that India’s Narendra Modi is trying to wean from open defecation in India. After riding to power in May 2014, the Indian prime minister launched the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) campaign with the aim of eradicating open defecation by 2019. The national campaign spans 4,042 cities and towns and includes the construction of 110 million toilets, the largest toilet building programme in the history of mankind.
Redesigning the toilet for areas without running water
Toilets, or rather the absence of them, are a pressing public health problem. Some 2.3bn people worldwide lack access to safe and affordable sanitation and 1.8bn drink water contaminated by human faeces, according to the organisers of the UN-recognised World Toilet Day, marked this year on November 19. This state of affairs puts people at risk of dysentery, cholera, typhoid, worms and other diseases, says the World Health Organisation. Inadequate access to sanitation exposes women to additional risks of rape and assaults, as the UN and non-govenmental organisations have pointed out. Similarly, the challenge of managing menstruation in the absence of a toilet means that women frequently miss education and employment opportunities.
No rain, but sewer overflow adds to Chennaiites' pain
After stormwater now it is turn of sewage water to flow along the city roads. For the past one week there is not much rain in Chennai, but there is a constant flow of foul emanating water along the north Chennai city roads. Sewer overflow has been a common menace in low-lying areas of north Chennai and the situation near the slaughterhouses are even worse. Public residing in old parts of Chennai is forced to wade through sewer overflow and sanitation is a major issue in Thiru Vika Nagar, Choolai, Egmore, Pulianthope and Pattalam areas.
This Swachh India campaign will educate school teachers, principals about hygiene, sanitation
As part of its nationwide hygiene and sanitation campaign "Dettol Banega Swachh India", RB India in association with Jagran Pehel concluded a five-day training programme for Noida government schools' teachers and principals. Through the training session, the teachers and principals were taught how to use a teacher's manual and deliver the curriculum including the activities, creating a conducive environment for improvised hygiene and sanitation. The Hygiene E curriculum was introduced across these schools with the support of Noida District Magistrate and implementation partners in line with WASH delivery model. Developed by RB India in partnership with Butterfly Fields and XSEED, this curriculum has key elements like hygiene in school, home, neighbourhood, personal hygiene, and hygiene during illness.
Solar-Powered & Self-Cleaning, These are The Toilets India Needs!
Recently, on World Toilet Day 2017, the zoo launched the first-ever ‘Smart She’ toilet on its premise. Equipped with a sanitary napkin vending machine and a napkin incinerator, the unmanned self-cleaning toilet also has baby feeding and diaper changing stations. The user has to insert a coin to open the door, and its sensor-based light system is automatically turned on once you enter the toilet. This unique toilet design is the brainchild of Thiruvananthapuram-based Eram Scientific Solutions, an R&D social enterprise that works on innovative solutions that can provide better sanitation for the nearly 600 million Indians who still defecate in the open
India even behind Somalia when it comes to safely managing sanitation services
Globally, about 2.3 billion people still lack basic sanitation service, according to the WHO-UNCIEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) titled ‘Progress on Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene 2017’. The JMP was responsible for monitoring the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target and is now tracking progress towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets related to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The majority of the 2.3 billion people, who lacked basic sanitation service as on 2015, either practised open defecation (892 million) or used unimproved facilities like pit latrines without a slab or platform, hanging latrines or bucket latrines (856 million), according to the report.
More than just toilets needed
India cannot fulfill its dream of becoming open defecation free by 2019 only by building more toilets. Emphasis must also be on bringing about behaviour change. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has to become a people’s movement. The ambitious Swachh Bharat Abhiyan recently celebrated its anniversary on October 2. This unprecedented cleanliness movement has October 2, 2019, as the target date to achieve a completely clean India. But according to a latest report by WaterAid, an NGO, around 732 million people, which includes 355 million women and girls, still do not have access to a toilet in the country. In fact, if this section of the population were to stand in a line, the queue could circle the Earth more than four times. This basically translates to the fact that these infrastructure-challenged people are still resorting to open defecation as a part of their daily routine.
WaterAid report on India"s sanitation "factually incorrect": Govt
The government on Tuesday disputed a report released last week by WaterAid, an international NGO, that more than 732 million Indians defecate in the open or in unsafe or unhygienic toilets. The report, ‘Out of Order—The State of the World’s Toilets 2017,’ also claimed that India has the highest number of women—355 million—waiting for a toilet. In a statement, the ministry of drinking water and sanitation said that WaterAid’s findings extrapolated data for the period between 2000 and 2015 and missed out the progress made under the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) mission.
Indian Govt committed to improve sanitation: Narendra Modi
On the World Toilet Day on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaffirmed his government's commitment towards improving sanitation facilities across the nation. "I compliment all those individuals and organisations working towards building more toilets in various parts of India. Their invaluable contribution adds solid momentum to Swachh Bharat Mission," the Prime Minister tweeted. In a video posted on Twitter, Modi stressed the need to end the concept of open defecation saying that this is the best gift that can be given to women. Modi had also exhorted people to fulfill Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of Clean India.
A perfect sanitation solution
The Twin Pit-Pour Flush system is undoubtedly the best form of sanitation that is safe and sustainable but there are certain challenges that needs to be addressed before we achieve the goal of an Open Defecation Free India by 2019. It has been three year since India launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) to achieve the ambitious target of an Open Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2019. The Modi Government has been doing its bit to meet the target but there are two very critical aspects that require intervention to achieve the goal. First, relates to software, ie changing people’s mindset to use toilets. Second, relates to hardware ie to ensure that people have access to the right products and technologies that make toilet-use easy and safe. While most campaigns do address the software aspect, they often fail to understand the importance of hardware.
Women face sanitation hurdles at government establishments
While the government is stressing on building toilets for every household in the country to achieve the ambitious open-defecation-free target, sanitation facilities at various government establishments like administrative offices, courts and educational institutes aren't women friendly. Last year, in a sample study participated by 198 girls from Aurangabad district's rural areas, women rights activist Renuka Kad found out startling figures concerning sanitation facilities in rural schools. All the girls participating in the survey from ages 13 to 18 years preferred staying at home during their periods due to the absence of toilets in school and lack of cleanliness or water in toilets.
More than 732 million Indians don"t have access to toilets: Report
More than 732 million Indians still defecate in the open or in unsafe and unhygienic toilets, three years after the launch of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan (Clean India Mission), said a report released on Thursday. The ‘State of the World’s Toilets 2017’ report by WaterAid, which works on issues related to water and sanitation, said the situation was worse for women and girls, 355 million of whom are still waiting for a toilet, the report said. The statistics also depict India as the country with the maximum number of people (around 56%) without toilets and basic sanitation. “In India, a staggering 355 million women and girls are still waiting for a toilet; if they were all to stand in a queue, it would stretch around the Earth more than four times.
India Has Highest Number Of People Without Basic Sanitation: Report
India, the world's second-largest country by population, has the highest number of people without basic sanitation, according to a report. The report says despite immense progress through the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission, more than 732 million people still suffer fear and indignity of relieving themselves in the open or in unsafe or unhygienic toilets- a situation that is worse for women and girls. "In India, a staggering 355 million women and girls are still waiting for a toilet; if they were all to stand in a queue, it would stretch around the Earth more than four times!" WaterAid's State of the World's Toilets 2017 report says
A $62 billion business opportunity is hiding behind India"s toilet troubles
Three years after rolling out the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) campaign, which among other things aims to eradicate open defecation by 2019, India is far from solving its filth problem. Over 70% of rural India still lacks adequate sanitation facilities, World Bank data shows. Over 56% of Indians—some 732.2 million of them—lack access to basic sanitation. Globally, these are the worst numbers, according to a 2017 report by the international charity WaterAid. The situation is so grim that girls drop out of school due to a dearth of functional toilets on campus.
Use of Scarce Water
No evidence of China diverting water of Siang: CWC
The national river water monitoring agency, Central Water Commission (CWC), has found no evidence of China diverting water of the Yarlung Tsangpo, which flows through southern Tibet into India, first as Siang in Arunachal Pradesh and then as Brahmaputra in Assam till it enters Bangladesh as Jamuna, to build dams. But, it has no conclusive reason why Siang has turned black due to cement-like slag, which has been flowing from across the McMohan line for over a month now. The contamination has also been noticed in Brahmaputra at different locations in Assam, hundreds of kilometers from Arunachal Pradesh. "CWC has been closely monitoring the water levels of Siang and Brahmaputra but there is no evidence of any diversion of the Yarlung Tsangpo as the water levels on Indian side have not changed," a central government official said.
Some smart solutions to farm distress
Input usage can be brought down by using integrated farming methods in which there is a balance between preventive agronomic methods and some curative chemical methods without sacrificing yields and quality. Firstly, there is a need to reduce tillage and promote better soil structures. Minimum tillage helps prevent soil erosion. Secondly, soil structures, damaged because of indiscriminate use of chemical fertilisers, need to be restored. Biotechnology solutions like nitrogen-use efficiency gene and phosphorus-use efficiency gene reduce consumption of fertilisers significantly. NUE and PUE are in the regulatory system. If we can make them commercially available it can help in reduce fertiliser consumption, reduce cost and promote better soil structures.
Pak SC asks cement company to refill water in Katas Raj temple pond
Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a local cement factory to fill water in the pond of Katas Raj temple in Chakwal within a week, taking cognisance of reports that such factories had caused the drying of the water body. The Bestway Cement factory, which was asked to fill the pond of the Hindu shrine, is one of the four major cement production units in the area. A three-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar is hearing a suo motu case based on media reports that the pond is drying out due to water consumption by these factories. The factories are reportedly draining the pond through a number of wells which have reduced the subsoil water level the created shortages for domestic users as well.
ACB yet to prove role of Ajit Pawar, Tatkare in Rs 70,000 crore water projects
Exactly three years after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis granted permission to the Anti-Corruption Bureau to conduct an open probe against high profile NCP leaders Ajit Pawar and Sunil Tatkare, the agency is yet to establish their role in the irrigation scam. The Rs 70,000-crore scam was the main poll plank of the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha and assembly elections. In a related development, the Nagpur ACB on Tuesday filed four separate first information reports for rampant corruption and irregularities in the Gosikhurd irrigation project. Though the FIRs do not name Pawar or Tatkare, all the proposals were dealt by them at different stages.
"Only way forward for Karnataka is to move to climate-resilient farming"
Israel is in the process of setting up 30 centres of excellence in different parts of India, including three in Karnataka, for promoting particular crop varieties, says the only way Karnataka and similar States can deal with adverse climatic conditions is total transformation from rain-fed agriculture to cent per cent climate-resilient agricultural system.
These solar canopies supply shade & electricity, as well as catch and filter rainwater
A pair of Indian entrepreneurs has developed what they claim is "the most advanced integrated plug and play system" for shade, water, and energy. Solar canopies and carports, which can provide shade underneath them while harvesting clean energy from the sunlight that hits them, can be a great asset in both public and private spaces, but the startup ThinkPhi goes one step further with its flagship product. The company's model 1080 not only produces renewable electricity from the sun (and stores it in integrated batteries), but it can also collect and filter rainwater.
Bundelkhand Lakes to be "encroachment free"
The CM said all the lakes of Sagar division comprising Tikamgarh, Chattarpur, Damoh and Sagar districts will be demarcated and the encroachments will be removed from the lakes. Land will be identified to dig up new ponds. Besides, check dams and stop dams will also be constructed, said Chouhan. The chief minister said that the government, society and organisations working in the field of water conservation will work together to "change the picture of Bundelkhand region", adding that every necessary step will be taken to revive the drying rivers of the region in view of the erratic rainfall pattern in the region
Bijepur village cries for attention
While most of the villagers are into farming, locals claim that there is no trace of irrigation facility here. It is the rains that decide the fate of farmers. Even as the villagers had been demanding construction of a check dam across river Utali, the officials at all levels chose to ignore the matter, locals added. “The check dam would have irrigated the agricultural fields in the village. But it is not on the agenda of the district administration or any political party. Moreover, the embankment of a bridge over river Utali is also getting eroded and despite apprising the officials of the impending threat, no action has yet been taken,” villagers complained.
Israeli technology to transform Indian agriculture
One of the most critical issues for the farming community is availability of water. Fresh water withdrawals are highest by the agricultural sector, and accounts for nearly 84-85 percent of water withdrawal in India, which is well above the global average. India and Israel have had a very strong partnership in Agriculture. Under the India-Israel Agriculture Project, Centre of Excellences were established in various states which are helping the farming fraternity in India to adopt the latest technologies such as micro irrigation systems.
Twitter Stories
C .M.Tiwari tweeted: RT @charupragya: Can we make water out of thin air? Won’t it be so incredible if India can do that too? At WaterGen in Israel, a start-up that has become a pioneer in extracting drinking water from the humidity in the air.
Can we make water out of thin air? Won’t it be so incredible if India can do that too? At WaterGen in Israel, a start-up that has become a pioneer in extracting drinking water from the humidity in the air. #CleanWater, #RenewableResources, #IndiaVisitIsrael, #YoungLeaders
@I_Say_What Tweeted: RT @VOAStevenson: India Says Chinese Construction on River Dirtying Water
India Says Chinese Construction on River Dirtying Water @abc
Khan Khadija✨ tweeted: RT @Hina_KhannFc: This is the reason why hina said not to use tap water for cooking food. Tap water is not good for health
This is the reason why hina said not to use tap water for cooking food. Tap water is not good for health. But people will still target her and say her wrong. HINA RULES BB11 - INDIA LOVES HINA #BB11 @eyehinakhan @Hinaholics @hinakhanfc_ @HinaAddicts
Khushdeep Singh tweeted: RT @INCIndia: New images confirm the outcome of India's weak foreign policy response: China is possibly blocking the Brahmaputra,
New images confirm the outcome of India's weak foreign policy response: China is possibly blocking the Brahmaputra, and diverting the water into a desert. Results of a pushover Prime Minister?

"Water and Well-Being in India" 28th May 2018

Improving Sanitation
Sewage treatment plants are a must
At a conference in Stockholm, Naina Lal Kidwai felt embarrassed when India was lambasted for its poor sanitation. “As an Indian in the audience, it was awful to hear that,” she says. Her latest book, Survive or Sink, presents a practical approach to sanitation, waste management and pollution. The 61-year-old says it has been a fairly easy transition from the corner office in the HSBC headquarters in Fort, Mumbai, to checking toilets and open drains in villages.
No free rice for villages that are not open defecation free: Puducherry LG Kiran Bedi
The territorial government's free rice scheme would be operated in rural areas only after local MLAs and commune panchayat commissioners certify that the hamlets are open defecation and garbage free by May 31, Puducherry Lt governor Kiran Bedi said on Saturday. Bedi stated this in a WhatsApp message to mediapersons after her weekend visits to some villages, where she expressed dissatisfaction over the 'slow pace' of implementation of the rural sanitation programme.
Odisha govt sets target to make state open defecation free by end of this year
The state government has set an ambitious target to make all districts of the state open defecation free (ODF) by end of this year. It also aims to declare four districts ODF within two months. Chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi said this after reviewing implementation of the ongoing ‘Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM)’ in the state on Thursday. He along with Parameswaran Iyer, drinking water and sanitation secretary of government of India, chaired a high level meeting on the issue at the state secretariat here.
No toilet, no pay: Government employees in Sitapur asked to "pose for selfies"
The District Magistrate of Sitapur in Uttar Pradesh has issued an order for all government employees here to pose in front of toilets in their homes to prove that they do not relieve themselves in the open. Failure to send the selfie could mean no salary for the month of May.
Sitapur: Govt employees asked to take selfies in front of toilets
Sitapur District Magistrate has taken the Swacch Bharat mission to another level by issuing an order, asking all government employees to submit a picture of them posing in front of the toilet at their home. The employees will also have to submit a certificate proof of their respective toilets to ensure that every household has a toilet built. The step has been taken by the District Magistrate in a bid to make the district free from open defecation.
Plea to keep Guntur district in first place in Open Defecation-Free
Rural Water Supply secretary B Ramanajaneyulu appreciated the efforts of the district administration for announcing Guntur district as Open Defecation-Free. He conducted a meeting with the RWS and Panchayat Raj officials. He urged the people to show same spirit to keep Guntur district as (ODF Plus) in the first place in the state. He stressed on the need to separate dry and wet garbage and keep villages clean. He insisted on construction of toilets in every house and cleaning of the side drains.
How Meghan Markle got the world talking about periods
When the Duchess, a proud feminist, selected a small charity in India that offers women access to sanitary products, she was hailed for highlighting the deeply unfashionable subject of periods. The issue of 'period poverty', and its effects on women both here and internationally, is finally gaining attention: the Girl Guides has just announced it is introducing a badge dedicated to it. The charity, Myna Mahila Foundation, aims to break taboos around menstrual hygiene in India, and employs women in Mumbai’s urban slums to make affordable sanitary pads and then sell them back into their communities. The organisation was the only non-British charity on the Duke and Duchess’s list.
DCM Shriram Ltd. Signs MoU for Kota School Sanitation Project; Launches “Shriram Swachagrah Project”
DCM Shriram Ltd. Under the aegis of DCM Foundation has initiated the “Shriram Swachagrah Project” for improvement of sanitation infrastructure in 1072 Govt. Schools comprising of 777 Primary and 295 Secondary Schools of the entire Kota District. The project is spread over a period of 3 - 4 years and involves total Project expenditure between Rs. 15 - 20 crores.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan ground realities expose poor sanitation coverage, hyped "open-defecation free" claims
In Jampada village of Jharsuguda, a declared 100 percent ODF district, there are 40 households and all of them do have a toilet. But they are not used as the village does not have a water supply. All that it has is a single handpump outside the village. Some other villages in Jharsuguda and Deogarh in Odisha, both ODF districts, tell a similar story.
CAG of India Climbs into Toilet Pit, Empties Human Compost with Own Hands!
On Thursday, in an attempt to abolish this very stigma and set an example among his peers and the villagers present, Rajiv Mehrishi, a former IAS officer and the current Comptroller and Auditor General of India, climbed down into a twin-pit toilet in rural Maharashtra and emptied it with his bare hands.
Water scarcity sees revival of open defecation
Toilets constructed in thousands of households in rural areas in parched Bundelkhand region of MP have remained unused as the locals struggled to get a few pitchers of water for their daily use (for cooking and drinking purposes) by tapping water sources far away from their villages. Abandoned toilets are a common sight in the water scarce villages of Sendhpa, Biro, Kisangarh, Gohadibaksaha, Ranital, and Sangrampura in Chhattarpur and Bori, Bomrikala, Pahadikhurd, Tihrika, and Bomrikala Van in Tikamgarh district. “The SBM in villages facing serious water crisis has proved to be damp squib and the abandoned toilets in the houses in the parched region of rural Bundelkhand bear testimony to it,” said social activist P. Guwahara.
Bhopal: Make your districts open defecation free by September, says chief secretary to collectors
Chief Secretary Basant Pratap Singh expressed his annoyance on Thursday to the 14 collectors which have been found to be lagging behind in eradication of open defecation from their districts, under the Swachh Bharat Mission of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During a Parakh video conferencing session with the collectors Singh said that the matter of making their districts open defecation free (ODF) is not limited only to them rather he too have to answer about it to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
Open Defecation-free Maharashtra? Railways "potty" trains motormen
Yet the Suburban Railways has identified stretches that have 'night soil and unhygienic track conditions' and cautioned motormen to go slow there. 'Night soil' is a sweet-smelling term for human excreta. Speed restrictions have been imposed for other reasons such as construction of bridges, newly laid lines, presence of level crossing, defective rail, etc. Central Railway's (CR) situation is shittier than Western Railway's (WR). CR authorities have issued speed restrictions on more than 60 locations, while the WR's count is at 15. CR has asked the motormen to slow down to 20-30 kmph to avoid human casualty.
Bhubaneswar Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena says open defecation led to Swachh survey failure
Bhubaneswar Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena said the Capital could not find a place in the top-10 list of any category because the City is yet to be made open defecation free. “Open defecation is a major constraint for any City to perform well in the Swachhata Sarvekshan. Despite several awareness campaigns and provision of public toilets, people in many slums continue to defecate in the open,” he said.
Open Defecation Is Much More Than Just A Sanitation Problem
With the ever-growing population, government and civil society continue to grapple with the issue of sanitation, taking into cognizance that 53 percent of Indian households still do not own a toilet (Census, 2011). Sanitation is an issue that affects everyone but women are often the most at risk. Open defecation is more than a sanitation issue—the lack of a safe, clean and secluded space to defecate specifically hurts women by drastically limiting their daily freedom.
India’s Sanitation Revolution
Sanitation is the key to proper ... 307,349 villages across India have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). The ambitious goals set by the Indian government to clean up the nation faces several problems. In all probability, the Centre may not be ...
P’kula MC spent Rs 45 lakh on checking open defecation
While the Haryana Government has declared Panchkula open defecation-free (ODF), officials of the cash-strapped Panchkula Municipal Corporation have spent nearly Rs 45 lakh only on visiting problem areas in private taxis in the past three months.
Uttarakhand: Towards an "open defecation free" district
Teachers of a government school in Uttarakhand's Udham Singh Nagar district helped the parents of their students to build toilets in their houses. This comes three years after the launch of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and a few months after Udham Singh Nagar was declared open defecation free (ODF). The teachers said that the idea of helping parents in making toilets at their houses came after they found out that the children don't have toilets at their houses and they used to defecate in the open. One of the teachers said, "Idea of helping parents in making toilets in their houses came after we found out that the children don't have toilets at their houses and they are not aware of cleanliness."
MP to be open defecation free by Oct 2, says CM Shivraj
Madhya Pradesh would be declared open defecation free (ODF) on October 2 this year even though the Centre has set the deadline for 2019. "Narendra Modi took a historic initiative by announcing Swachchta Abhiyan across the country. We have pledged to declare the state as open defecation free (ODF) by October 2 this year against the deadline of 2019", said Minister Chouhan, while addressing a state-level Swachhta Award ceremony.
Girls in govt-run hostel in Madhya Pradesh forced to defecate in open, claims warden
Over 100 girl students of a government hostel in Madhya Pradesh are forced to defecate and bathe in the open because of water scarcity in toilets, says its warden, at a time when every state is trying to achieve the ‘Open Defecation Free (ODF)’ tag. The hostel in Madiyadoh village, about 60 km from the district headquarters, has toilets, but shortage of water has rendered them useless, forcing students to defecate in the open, an official said.
Shame! Open defecation still rampant
The civic body has declared the city open defecation-free. But in its backyard at Sriram Nagar near Vellalore dump yard around 50 families defecate in the open. That’s not all. These families, comprising nearly 50 children, live amidst filth and garbage, while the city corporation boasts of having bettered its Swachh Survekshan ranking under the smart city project. The women, men and children in the area say they are forced to defecate in the open as there are no community toilets near their locality. These people are allegedly employed by the corporation contractor incharge of solid waste management to collect plastic, paper, iron and other resaleable items from the waste.
Incredible Woman Makes 82 Gram Panchayats Open-Defecation Free in Just 4 Years! - The Better India
Monika told NDTV. “I saw one lady [die] in front of me–the reason of death was hunger,” she added. The old lady suffered from a stomach infection that prevented the absorption of nutrients from the food she consumed. Monika explained, “The cause of stomach infection was unhygienic surroundings–the lady was bedridden and used the same place for sleeping, sitting, eating and even for defecating and urinating.”
Enabling Women
To Fix Childhood Stunting in India, Focus on Women"s Health: Study
At 63 million stunted children, India has one-third of the world’s population of stunted pre-schoolers. This means the global struggle against stunting is not going to change for the better unless India acts seriously. With stunting, as with several other social and development outcomes, women play a key role. This has been highlighted by a new research, the authors of which have conducted a deep examination into freshly released government data from the National Family Health Survey 4 (2015-2016). “Women-related factors contribute to more than half of the factors we analysed, which are linked to stunting. This is not new news. But the fact that this still has to be said as news is a concern. When women are not tended to, we are looking at discrimination across the life-course,” says Purnima Menon, senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and lead author of this study.
Akshay Kumar, Shabana Azmi & "Pad Heroes" to tackle Period Taboos at “Niine Menstrual Awareness Conclave” - Odisha Diary
The Niine Movement, an ambitious five-year plan aimed at raising awareness on the importance of menstrual hygiene and tackling the taboos associated with menstruation, will officially launch at the inaugural Menstrual Awareness Conclave in Delhi, India to mark International Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28th May 2018. The Menstrual Awareness Conclave is supported by India’s Pad Man, Akshay Kumar, who will grace the event as its Chief Guest.
Missing In Action: Women
Headlines stemming from these surveys are often framed in a manner that put the onus on ‘women leaving the workforce’. “Women are not quitting or leaving the workforce, they have been thrown out,” says Vibhuti Patel, Chairperson and Professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). The predictable societal norms of women being homemakers and leaving the workforce, prioritising their families exists in tandem with the inescapable truth that it is a man’s world. “Women are the last to be hired and the first to be fired,” that Patel asserts is the age old corporate policy.
"Rajasthan has empowered women more than any other Indian state"
The govt of Rajasthan has disbursed more than Rs 18000 crore under the Bhamashah Yojana, which aims to empower women with direct money transfers Not just an ace investor, but Mohandas Pai represents a strong voice in support of businesses and the startup ecosystem. With investments across media companies, among many others, he has remained a critic of governments and insists that more the startups, the better for the nation. In an interview with YourStory on how Rajasthan is shaping up in terms of investments, the investor says it scores on digital governance.
A Boost for Women Entrepreneurs Led by One of India's Largest Banks
Commenting on the initiative, Rana Kapoor, MD & CEO, YES BANK and Chairman, YES Global Institute said, “The Indian startup landscape, with over 8 million women entrepreneurs, is at a focal point where an accelerated ‘pro-women centric’ change is of vital importance in order to galvanize India’s growth trajectory. It is projected that by 2025, India’s GDP will get an additional boost of 16%, by integrating women in the workforce. In order to achieve inclusive and equitable socio-economic growth for the nation, we must ensure that at least 25% of entrepreneurs in the country are women by 2025.”
These Indian Startups Are Making It Easier For Mothers To Return To Work After Maternity Leave
Despite being one of the hottest startup destinations in Asia, India throws up some skewed statistics when it comes to gender. Only 27% of the workforce comprises women, and only nine percent of startup founders are female. Working in a startup, especially early-stage, demands long hours from employees and this becomes a contentious issue for mothers. However, a number of Indian startups are keen to flip this norm by enabling women to return to the workforce, especially after maternity breaks.
SOS Children's Villages of India Celebrated International Day of Families
To celebrate precious family bonds, SOS Children’s Villages of India, a globally operational not-for-profit organisation, honoured extraordinary family bonds of target beneficiaries towards building capacity of the caregivers, with day-long celebrations across 32 Children’s Villages in India, under Family Strengthening Programme (FSP). The celebrations were aligned with this year’s theme of The International Day of Families: “Families and inclusive societies”, in advancing Sustainable Development Goal 16 towards promoting peaceful and inclusive societies, leading to sustainable development of countries across the world.
A Government Database To Combat India’s Rape Culture Could Create More Problems Than It Solves
The sex offender registry is the latest measure introduced by the Indian government in response to the public outcry against recent gang rapes. A few weeks ago, a special cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also approved of the death penalty for child rapists. But experts say such a registry could create more problems than it solves, especially in India where surveillance databases meant to be used by the state are frequently accessed by private companies. Law enforcement is frequently biased against people who are poor, illiterate, and from discriminated caste groups, while legal cases go on for years, if not decades.
Creating jobs for women in the renewable energy sector
India can increase its GDP by up to 60% by 2025 by enabling more women to participate in its workforce, a 2015 study by the McKinsey Global Institute had stated. However, social and cultural constraints can prevent this from becoming a reality. Many women who work outside home still have primary household and parenting responsibilities that need to be balanced with their work life.
A Stranger Watched Me Shower In A Hotel Room And It Could Happen To You Too
According to data provided by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), out of the total registered cases of crimes against women in India in 2015, 838 cases were of voyeurism. In 2016, the figure was 932. Out of this, 127 of these cases were filed in Maharashtra, 101 in West Bengal, 98 in Telangana, 93 in Madhya Pradesh, 92 in Uttar Pradesh, 83 in Andhra Pradesh and 43 in Delhi. 131 cases were filed in metropolitan cities with Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata emerging as the top three. These incidents can occur at any place like changing rooms, toilets, public spaces, restaurants, schools and even in our homes.
Use of Scarce Water
Himachal HC directs Centre to provide funding for water supply schemes’ augmentation
Making its intervention to find a solution to the water needs of the people, the Himachal Pradesh High Court has directed the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to take immediate steps to provide funding for the augmentation of 1,421 drinking water supply schemes
"Bhavesh Joshi Superhero" unmasks water mafia
It’s a known fact that in many parts of India, mafia are active in regions where there’s water scarcity. These gangs procure water from illegal sources and sell them to people at exorbitant rates. There is also growing evidence that a lot of water — supplied by government bodies — is lost to theft and leakage in pipelines. Vikramaditya Motwane’s upcoming directorial, 'Bhavesh Joshi Superhero', highlights this basic, but not-often-discussed issue. The film releases worldwide on June 1. The subject of the movie will resonate with many Mumbaikars in water-starved localities, who buy water at inflated rates because of the municipal authorities’ failure to tackle the ‘tanker mafia’.
Hindustan Times Investigation 8: Here are the solutions to deal with Pune's water mafia crisis
The Pune Municipal Corporation and the residents of Pune, especially those suffering at the hands of the water mafia must now act in concert to resolve the water scarcity crisis in the fringe localities of the city.
Is it water scarcity or govt apathy as Chhattisgarh villagers drink water from drain?
A village in Dantewada is reeling under water scarcity. Locals are compelled to dig water from an area near a drain, reported ANI. Equally shocking is the reaction of the collector who merely said he would look into the matter as if it is a small issue. "We will look into the matter, if there is a shortage of hand pumps then we will install them," Saurabh Kumar, collector, told ANI.
Save water to save ourselves – Act on four fronts to secure depleting water stock: Policy, infrastructure, behaviour ...
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reminded us about this dry season and the need to take conservation measures. This is a good opportunity to take stock of India’s big water challenges. Critical groundwater resources – accounting for 40% of our water – are being depleted at rapid rates. Droughts are becoming more frequent, causing distress to rain-dependent farmers. If nothing changes, and fast, things will get much worse: estimates indicate that water demand will exceed supply by a factor of two by 2030, driving economic losses of 6% of GDP by 2050. The challenges need to be addressed at four levels – policy, infrastructure, behaviour and data.
Amazing! Odisha Railway Station Gets 120 L/Day of Potable Water from Air
Speaking to PTI, Mr JP Mishra, the Chief Public Relations Officer of the East Coast Railways, said that the station would use atmospheric moisture extraction technology, and pass it over a condenser, turning the vapour into water, due to the heat exchange. The machine to be used for this process works at a low humidity level of 50%, has an ambient temperature of 32-35 degrees Celsius, and is capable of harvesting 120 litres of water a day. The machine was installed at the station on April 25th, and the suggestion for getting water from the air was suggested by the ECoR General Manager, Mr Umesh Singh, who also spoke of the atmospheric moisture extractor to harvest water. Mr JP Mishra is optimistic about this sustainable method of collecting water and hopes to replicate this in other stations
Water quality still poor, say Muktsar residents
Officials of the Water Supply and Sanitation Department claimed that there was no scarcity of potable water. “We had closed water inlets of all reservoirs, so the contaminated water could not enter anywhere. Still, we lifted about 50 water samples and the reports from the local laboratory clarified that the water stored in the reservoirs is not contaminated. We have further sent the samples to the state laboratory and its report is awaited,” said Kuldeep Singh Saini, Superintending Engineer, Water Supply and Sanitation Department. He said: “We have stored water for 7-14 days, so consumers need not panic.”
President Ram Nath Kovind asks scientists to find solutions for challenges like climate change, water scarcity
At the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Mohali, President Ram Kovind exhorted scientists and students to work towards finding solutions to challenges such as climate change and water scarcity, whilst underscoring that science and technology must continue to play a role in nation building.
Cape Town Is Not Alone: Bangalore Faces Impending Water Crisis
While the world is focused on Cape Town, South Africa, and its impending water crisis, the water security problems of the Indian tech hub are quietly escalating. Bangalore, known as India’s Silicon Valley for it’s rising techology sector, has experienced a massive population boom in the past decade and it’s water system cannot keep up. The population has nearly doubled from 5.7 million in 2001 to 10.5 million today, with a projected population of more than 2 million IT professionals by 2020, according to Wired. The city’s water distribution system only covers the central area of the city, but the surrounding areas, which swelled during the city’s rapid growth, are not connected to city water and instead get their water supply from tankers. The tankers deliver the water sourced from boreholes, tapping into a quickly shrinking groundwater supply. As groundwater is continuously pulled with no replenishment, the groundwater levels have sunk from a depth of 150 to 200 ft to 1,000 ft or more in some places. In a city covered in impervious areas and with a massive population continuously growing, the groundwater is not able to recharge fast enough.
Water mismanagement leaves India"s Silicon Valley parched
India's Silicon Valley is bracing for yet another thirsty summer. Faucets are running dry and the lakes that once nurtured the southern city of Bangalore and its nearly 10 million residents are either parched or fetid with industrial waste and toxic effluents. Much like Cape Town in South Africa, Bangalore's water woes have been in the making for some time. Years of unplanned urbanization, rapid population growth and poor management of water resources have now reached a critical point in the southern Indian metropolis.
Gujarat industry wants distribution for desalinated water
The utility, Gujarat Water Infrastructure Ltd (GWIL), halted supplies to industrial units in Kutch from its Anjar-Mandvi pipeline in April 2018. Now the Federation of Kutch Industries Association (FOKIA), an umbrella organisation for small, medium and large industry in the region, is calling on state authorities to make the network available. Up to 250 large and 3,000 small facilities receive about 85,000 m3/d from GWIL, which also supplies residents. The industries are usually supplied from Sardar Sarovar Dam, however dam levels have dropped due to scarcity of rain during the last monsoon.
Rising heat, scarce water turn Balangir a cauldron
Come summer and water woes of inhabitants of Balangir town spills over. Though the authorities concerned claim that they have been supplying water as per demand, nearly half of the population has to manage without water for half of hot months.
India’s dried-out rivers feed spate of water wars
New Delhi and Haryana are currently locked in a Supreme Court battle over the Yamuna, with Delhi’s water board accusing Haryana of cutting the daily water supply to the capital — fixed by a 1996 court order — by a third, leading to a grave water crisis in this city of 18m people.
Now, Mahi river feeds Narmada main canal to meet drinking water needs
Faced with acute shortage of Narmada water, the government has started an inter-basin transfer of water, by “lifting” over 350 cusecs from the Mahi right bank canal (lying in east-west direction) and dumping it into the Narmada main canal
Govt sanctions 4 drinking water projects for 3 towns
A high level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary A P Padhi approved the project proposals submitted by the Urban Development department for Jharsuguda, Koraput and Rairangpur. The department has proposed two drinking water projects for Jharsuguda town at an estimated cost of `133.66 crore while the project at Koraput and Rairangpur towns will cost `35 crore and `25 crore respectively. The meeting discussed creation of water bodies in water scarce areas of mineral bearing districts. The Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Supply department was asked to identify such areas and submit project proposals for approval of the Government
Bracing to a man-made crisis
Year-after-year, healthy monsoons are giving India a slip and it has been a long while since the country has had its fill of satiating spell of rains. The much-look-forward monsoons this year are a welcome respite after a gruelling summer, but the Indian Meteorological Department has already spilled water on the collective hopes of a parched nation by forecasting a 44 per cent possibility of a mediocre monsoon. Rapidly dwindling groundwater levels are only adding to the criticality of the situation. In fact, successive droughts and erratic rainfall have led to excess extraction of groundwater. This in turn has led to a 61 per cent decline in groundwater level in wells between 2007 and 2017.
With water crisis brewing, Nagpur orange production to nose-dive by nearly 50%
Nagpur oranges and other fruit crops in the Vidarbha region are bearing the brunt of a severe water crisis as borewells in the region go dry. The current heat spell, coupled with little water, may drastically affect production of some horticulture crops.
If 80% water consumption in India is for agriculture, why is it unregulated and inefficient?
During the 2011 census, India entered the league of water deficient nations. A nation is considered water deficient if the per capita availability falls below 1700 cubic meters per person. The per capita water availability that fell by 15% during the first decade of this century to 1545 cubic meters per person, will be below 1400 cubic meters per person this summer. Though the rate of depletion has reduced in the last few years, we are still consuming much more than is being replenished by nature. And therein lies the danger. We will be leaving a troubled legacy for the next generation unless we take quick remedial actions to reverse the trend.
Caste, greed, and unending need: the story of India's waste crisis
In a new book titled The Waste of a Nation (Harvard University Press), Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey, professors at the Australian National University, show that it was decades in the making, spurred by the combination of population growth, urbanisation, and the embrace of consumer capitalism. The last one in particular has sparked a break from the age-old Indian habits of frugality and recycling. The tendency today is to consume more disposable goods, which is straining India’s capacity to handle waste.
Capture and Retention of Water
Water shortage: Locals on a mission to save wild animals
With the region witnessing dry summer, locals have launched a mission to provide water and save wild animals living in the Shivalik forests in the Kandi belt. Continuous drought in the region has led to the vanishing of water bodies. Also, the government’s failure to implement the rainwater harvesting scheme is driving the Kandi belt on the path of destruction. A group of youth and villagers of 30 panchayats in the Akhnoor-Chhamb belt, some 50 km from Jammu, have been creating water points and filling ponds using water tankers during April-May
Suburban residents join to save waterbody
Residents from Chitlapakkam and the nearby areas at Tambaram in the city suburb aired their views about waterbodies, their importance, present condition and need to conserve them during a meeting organised by Sarvamangala Nagar Residents Welfare Association recently. The event happened at a time when NGO Care Earth Trust proposes to restore Sembakkam lake in the locality in association with Nature Conservancy India and Indian Institute of Technology – Madras (IIT-M) by demonstrating scientific solutions and also involving the stakeholders. The meeting was aimed at receiving feedback from people of the locality. Jayshree Venkatesan, researcher and a member of Care Earth Trust, said the idea was to combine science with community engagement.
Access to Safer Water
Fighting for water
As far as Dhaka city is concerned, experts have already predicted that the city is to face severe crisis due to its over-pumping of groundwater. The predictions made about our future regarding water shortages are not just obscure imaginations of some people, but very real threats. We may have made significant strides in terms of sanitation, but when it comes to safe drinking water, we’re facing seemingly insurmountable challenges. Our rivers are becoming contaminated, and they are on the verge of disappearing due to grabbing, deep tube-wells can’t reach to the water levels, irrigation is being seriously jeopardized, tube-wells are infested with arsenic, coastal areas are threatened due to salinity.
Diarrhoea took more lives in last 5 yrs than all other water-borne diseases
Over five years to 2017, water-borne diseases–cholera, diarrhoea, typhoid and viral hepatitis–caused 10,738 deaths, latest government data show. Diarrhoea remained the leading killer, causing about 60% of all deaths, according to this to the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) by Jai Prakash Nadda, minister for and family welfare, on April 6, 2018. India loses 73 million working days due to water-borne diseases, IndiaSpend on June 21, 2016. India registered 69.14 million cases–or as many people as in United Kingdom–of four over five years to 2017, govt data show. Diarrhoea caused 6,514 deaths, the most of in India, over five years to 2017. Other killers were viral hepatitis (2,143), typhoid (2,061) and cholera (20)
Stem the Flow
Water, water everywhere but soon there will not be a drop to drink. A Unesco report published earlier this year predicted an intensified water crisis across India by 2050. This makes the recent data collected from the water meters that had been installed in 1,000 houses across north Calcutta last year to track wastage even more shocking. The average daily per capita consumption was found to be around 600 litres, going up to 800 litres in some houses. The national per capita consumption benchmark is 135 litres.
Governance and Empowerment
Nokia to develop 500 smart villages connecting citizens of India
Finnish mobile company Nokia has announced a new project called ‘Smartpur’ which aims to develop 500 “digitally integrated and sustainable villages” in India within the next five. The smart villages will undergo technology developments in the areas of health, education, livelihood, governance and finance. This will form part of the government’s ‘Digital India’ programme. So far, a pilot project – partnered with the Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) – has been rolled out across the regions of Haryana and Tamil Nadu, developing 10 smart villages in each state. The pilot project in Tain village, Mewat district, Haryana, was inaugurated on Thursday by Nina Vaskunlahti, the Ambassador for Finland.
For ease of doing business, close gap between promise, application
While the government garnered support on the twin planks of reform and “maximum governance, minimum government”, the reality may be different today. Foreign investors, Indian entrepreneurs and corporations still find themselves stuck in archaic laws and regulatory red tape. Clarity is lacking and piecemeal amendments made to laws haven’t helped.
Governance failure in Meghalaya
Governance fails because people running the government want it to fail. It’s as simple as that! Those who want governance to succeed should all get copies of the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India on State Finances and the Revenue Sector. We only need to go through the findings of the CAG to see that government itself is the biggest violator of all the norms of good governance. Let me cite a few examples.
Growing cities
Even two-and-a-half decades after municipal laws were reformed, elected Mayors lack the stature and authority to introduce urgently needed reforms. Now is the time to take a fresh look at urban governance. While the Centre’s goal of homes for all by 2022 is laudable, it is unlikely to be realised without a push from the States, and the launch of schemes driven by innovation and low-cost approaches. Augmenting rental housing should be a priority within the plan. Integrating green spaces, open commons and wetlands will make cities cleaner and aesthetically richer.
The ease of doing business conundrum
The first relates to mismatch between the intent of reforms and quality of actual enforcement and transparency on the ground, — the governance challenge. All businesses, Indian and foreign, complain that risk management and transparency related reforms that are boldly announced by senior officers in ministries are not adopted in spirit and content by their junior colleagues responsible for enforcement. This is true for a wide array and departments and services ranging from fire and safety inspectors and indirect tax officials to road transport regulators and municipal officers. Part of the problem is that a high level of discretion still exists with the officer enforcing rules on the ground.
Farmers In Maharashtra Protest Against Forceful Land Acquisition For Bullet Train Project
On 17 May, nearly 1,000 tribal farmers held a protest at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan against the ongoing forceful land acquisition by the BJP government in Maharashtra for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train project. Organised under the Bhumi Adhikar Andolan, the protest had farmers from Raigad, Thane, Nashik, Vidarbha, Konkan, Palghar, Dhule, Jalgaon, Dahanu, Gadchiroli and Nandurbar. The farmers are demanding that the government repeal a notification issued by the Maharashtra governor in November 2017, which diluted the role of gram sabhas in infrastructure projects.