Pipe Dreams: Waterborne Diseases and Barriers to Access to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation in Rural India

Abhilash Babu


Waterborne diseases are a serious public health threat to countries across the world. The poorer regions are more prone to their cataclesmic impacts in the form of deaths and a dent on the national economies. Lack of access to safe drinking water and saniation fecilities worsen the situation futher. Poverty and the structural inequalities exacerbate the inaccessibility to safe drinking water and sanitation. Indian situation is no different from the other poor countires. Millions of cases of waterborne diseases are reported and thousands of people die due to them. Despite the substantial efforts of the state, access to safe drinking water is still a distant dream for the majority of the populations, especially in the rual areas. The technocratic interventions and apolitical planning and implementation of the projects often fail to capture the local realities such as caste and gender dimensions. This further divides and reinforces the traditional hierarchies and fall short of targets. The present paper discusses the current scenario of waterborne diseases and their linkage to access to safe drinking water and sanitation in India. It explores the factors that act as barriers to its access with a special focus on rural areas.


Waterborne diseases, Safe drinking water and sanitation, Barriers to access, Rural India

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