Research Radio Ep 21: The Government, Markets, or NGOs—Who Can Ensure Equitable Access to Water?

In this episode, we speak to Deepa Joshi about how water access is regulated based on caste and gender.


Let’s turn back the clock to a century ago. We’re in 1923 and the Bombay Legislative Council has just passed a resolution enabling Dalits to access public places like wells and water tanks. Four years later in 1927, however, Savarnas continued to prevent Dalits from accessing drinking water. On 20 March that year, Babasaheb Ambedkar led a public demonstration where Dalits collectively drank water from a public tank in Maharashtra’s Mahad district. While these were landmark acts, Savarnas continue to prevent Dalits, and particularly Dalit women, from accessing drinking water. We’ll learn more about this, and the important shifts brought under the colonial, post-colonial and liberalisation periods in India.

Deepa Joshi joins us to discuss her work on access to water. Dr Joshi is with the International Water Management Institutes and Research Program on Water, and Ecosystem where she is the Gender, Youth, and Inclusion Lead. We’ll be discussing her EPW article titled “Caste, Gender and the Rhetoric of Reform in India's Drinking Water Sector.”

Subscribe to Research Radio to stay tuned to our entire season. Do listen to our previous episodes if you have not already.


Must Read

Do water policies recognise the differential requirements and usages of water by women and the importance of adequate availability and accessibility?
Personal Laws in India present a situation where abolishing them in the interest of gender justice also inadvertently benefits the reactionary side.   
Back to Top