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At a time when India faces serious problems of freshwater scarcity, groundwater depletion and environmental pollution, there is much to be learned from the lessons of past and present. This book examines critically what has been done and what more needs to be done to fulfill the promise of drinking water and sanitation for all .
The central thread of the story is Unicef s 35-year program of support to rural water supplies in India one of the largest, longest, and most ground-breaking in the organization s history. Having helped to bring water and sanitation within reach of millions of India s villagers, questions now arise about whether these achievements are in jeopardy. As water tables drop and contamination mounts, how is village India going to cope?
The book focuses on the Unicef experience but ranges wider, exploring community-led, NGO, and government approaches alike. From the Rajasthani farmer facing a fifth successive year of drought, to the sanitation mistri in West Bengal, to the Mysore school children chanting safe water messages, this is an account which brings to life India s perennial problems with water and health, asking how and whether they can be solved.
This is an important book for those working in the water supplies sector, in government and NGOs engineering students and academics involved in water water activists environmental and public health specialists those involved in aid and development work, especially in its international dimensions those interested in the story of social development in India over time.
Water: a matter of life and health
Finding water for water-short communities
The hand-pump revolution
Not just water but sanitation too
Tackling disease: guinea worm and diarrhoea
Managing a community service
Threats to water
Water, life and health: Where next?