ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Sanitation and User Charges in Indian Slums

Despite the efforts of successive governments, sanitation coverage remains low in India. While several studies have explored the impact of user financing on the improvement of sanitation facilities, this article looks at the conditions of housing, infrastructure and the surroundings of slums, under which different sanitation arrangements are made. The sanitation arrangements considered are of various types of ownership and cost-sharing arrangements. The findings provide useful insights that challenge one of the basic motivations for user financing: increased accountability in service delivery.

Work Conditions and Employment for Women in Slums

Women residing in slums and slum-like settlements of Bhuj are majorly employed in traditional activities such as bandhani, embroidery, fall beading, etc, and only to a much lesser extent in emerging opportunities, including non-farm casual labour and jobs in the private and public sectors. Women’s preference is overwhelmingly tilted towards the former employment opportunities as compared to the latter, due to flexibility of work and possibility of working from home, given certain sociocultural constraints and poor working conditions in other sectors. Moreover, limited access to capital for women’s own enterprises ensures that the chances for expansion and formalisation of their small enterprises are minimal.

Can Decentralisation Improve Rural Water Supply Services?

A survey of households in six villages in Birbhum district of West Bengal provides evidence that decentralisation in delivery of water supply leads to better quality of services. The participation of the local government in distribution of water supply, and household contribution to operation and maintenance appear to have a positive impact on quality.

Health Insurance for the Poor

Interstate variation in demand for the universal health insurance scheme for the poor is explained by the variation in healthcare infrastructure. In order to build demand for health insurance it is necessary to address the supply-side as well as design an insurance scheme based on a realistic assessment of the paying capacity of the poor.
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