Skip to main content

Muslims less likely to benefit from basic services in Kolkata slums, says study by Gujarat-based institute

Counterview Desk
A recent study, sponsored out by a Gujarat-based institute, has revealed that religion has been playing an important role in the provisioning of basic services in the slum areas of Kolkata. "The chances of sufficient water supply reduce by at least 16 percent for Muslim households and by at least 26 percent for wards represented by the Muslim councilor”, the study, titled “Political Economy of Water Supply and Drainage Service Delivery in Slums of Kolkata: Implications for Municipal Management", authored by Indranil De of the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), Gujarat,  and Tirthankar Nag of the International Management Institute, Kolkata, points out.
The study says, availability of water supply in the slum households is in proportion to the “percentage of vote obtained by the councilor in municipal election.” If the percentage of vote obtained by the councilor is higher, there is a “greater the chances of getting sufficient water.” The study says, “When the councilor wins the last elections -- depicted by the higher margin and change in margin – the higher the chances of sufficient water supply.” It adds, “If the councilor is affiliated to the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), the chances of getting sufficient water increases by more than 27 percent”.
Coming to the quality of water, the study says, the local government appears to play a major role in up-keeping the quality of water supply. Underlining that the “quality of water improves if the present councilor happens to have won elections with a higher percentage of votes and a higher and improved margin over the last elections”, the scholars say, “Wards characterized by both high competition and high fragmentation have higher chances of receiving good quality of water supply. The probability of getting good quality water increases by 32 percent if the councilor is affiliated to the AITC. However, “if the local councilor is a repeat (re-elected) councilor of the previous municipal council then the chances of getting good quality water fall by 61 percent. This could be due to less effort on the part of the councilors in governance.”
Based on a survey of 541 households in 23 slums, giving a profile of the slum dwellers, the study reveals that more than half the households in Kolkata belong to the Muslim community, who mainly dominate in Central Kolkata slums. The percentage of Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) households, on the other hand, is highest in the North and East Kolkata slums. Poverty analysis suggests that eight per cent of the slum dwellers fall in the lowest group with a monthly per capita expenditure (MPCE) of less than Rs 830.6 in 2009-10. “Muslim population falls at the bottom of the economic strata with 10 per cent placed at the lowest MPCE group. The percentage of people in the top MPCE group (more than Rs 1500) is highest for the Hindu general caste”, the study points out.
Pointing out that “sufficiency of water supply has been measured by household response on the availability of water supply”, the study says, “The Muslim community is worst affected in terms of insufficiency, followed by SC and ST households.” As for the quality of water supply, it was reported as “good” by 72 percent of sample households, with 6 per cent reporting that it is bad. 
“However", it adds, "there are both inter and intra regional disparities in quality of water supply. Going by regions, quality of water supply in Central Kolkata appears to be worst with 10 percent reporting bad quality. Central Kolkata slums are dominated by the Muslim population and around 11 percent of Muslim households of this region receive water supply of bad quality”, the scholars comment, adding, “Religion and caste wise, quality of water supply seems to be at its worst for SC and ST households with 15 percent complaining about water quality being bad.”
As for drainage facilities, things are not very different. The study says, “Candidates having won higher competitive elections (lower percentage of votes, less margin and reduced margin as compared to last elections) demonstrate better chances of good drainage service delivery. However, political fragmentation reduces the chances of better service delivery. Moreover, high political competition coupled with high political fragmentation is likely to lead to lowered delivery of services. Councilors not associated with the majority party might try to showcase their work by delivering services as drainage which is under their direct control.”
Referring to the state of drainage, the study says, “Drainage in the slums of Kolkata is awfully bad as around 9 percent of the sample households do not have any drainage facility and around 76 percent households report that drains are not cleaned even within a fortnight. The distribution of households by drainage services reveal that inter and intra regional disparities exist in the context of physical access to drains as well as drainage services with drains being cleaned in a fortnight.”

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Labelling a Jesuit a Marxist? It's like saying if you use a plane, you become American

Jesuits: Cedric Prakash, Stan Swamy By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* A thirteen- fourteen-year-old has many dreams! That's an impressionable age; at the cusp of finishing school. It is also a time when one tastes a different kind of freedom: to go for camps with boys of your own age (not with ones family). Such camps and outings were always enjoyed to the hilt. The ones, however, which still remain etched in my memory are the mission camps to the Jesuit missions in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Giant conglomerates 'favoured': Whither tribal rights for jal-jungle-jameen?

Prafull Samantara By Mohammad Irshad Ansari*  The struggle for “Jal, Jungle and Jameen” has been a long-drawn battle for the tribal communities of India. This tussle was once again in the limelight with the proposed diamond mining in the Buxwaha forest of Chhatarpur (Madhya Pradesh). The only difference in this movement was the massive social media support it gained, which actually seems to tilt the scale for the tribal people in a long time.

Tussle between Modi-led BJP govt, Young India 'key to political battle': NAPM

Counterview Desk  In its month-long campaign, civil rights network National Alliance for People’s Movements (NAPM) carried out what it called Young People's Political Persecution and Resistance in “solidarity with all comrades facing political persecution and remembering human rights defender Stan Swamy…”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Lost to commercialisation, vanity? Ashram awaits 'second assassination' of Gandhiji

Counterview Desk  Around 130 “concerned” citizens, in a statement, have protested against the Government of India and Gujarat government decision to turn Gandhi Ashram into a ‘world-class’ tourist destination spread over 54 acres at the cost of Rs 1,200 crore, which would include a Gandhi Ashram Memorial, an amphitheater, a VIP lounge, shops and a food court, stating it would compromise and trivialize the “sanctity and importance of the present-day Ashram, mainly Hriday Kunj, surrounding buildings, and the museum.”

Debt bondage, forced labour, sexual abuse in Gujarat's Bt cottonseed farms: Dutch study

By Rajiv Shah  A just-released study, sponsored by a Netherlands-based non-profit, Arisa , “Seeds of Oppression Wage sharecropping in Bt cottonseed production in Gujarat, India”, has said that a new form of bondage, or forced labour, exists in North India’s Bt cottonseed farms, in which bhagiyas, or wage sharecroppers, are employed against advances and are then often required to work for years together “without regular payment of wages.”

Govt of India has 'no moral right' to declare national day for Muslim women, Naqvi told

Counterview Desk  In what has been described as a nationwide outpouring of condemnation, following the announcement by Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Minister of Minority Affairs, declaring August 1 as ‘Muslim Women’s Rights Day’ to mark the anniversary of the Triple Talaq law, over 650 citizens have said it is nothing but "cynical optics" of using Muslim women’s rights in the face of an "unprecedented" onslaught against the rights of the Muslims in recent years.

Covid: We failed to stop religious, political events, admits Modi-dharmacharya meet

Counterview Desk An email alert sent by one the 11 participants, Prof Salim Engineer, on behalf of the Dharmik Jan Morcha regarding their "religious leaders' online meet" with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even as offering "support to meet challenges of Corona pandemic", blames religious congregations, though without naming the Maha Kumbh and other religious events, which apparently were instrumental in the spread of the second wave.

Madhya Pradesh Adivasis protest externment notice to Barwani tribal rights leader

By Harsing Jamre, Nasri Bai Ningwal, Prakash Bandod*  Over 2,500 Adivasis mobilized in response to Barwani district administration’s recent move to issue a show cause notice to Valsingh Saste, a prominent Adivasi activist of Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (JADS), Madhya Pradesh. For two decades, Valsingh Saste as an activist of JADS has been continuously leading struggles for the constitutional and fundamental rights of Adivasis.