Skip to main content

Gujarat Dalits in Surendranagar district's rural areas deprived of Narmada water: Letter to chief minister

By Our Representative
In a letter to Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel, a well-known Dalit rights NGO Navsarjan Trust’s activist, Prakashbhai Jayantibhai Parmar, has given the instance of two villages of Surendranagar district to point towards how, despite availability of Narmada waters, the Dalits are being deprived of drinking water.
Pointing out how in the two villages – Gedigam and Jambugam – the Dalits are being discriminated against in the distribution of Narmada waters, Parmar said, “While the water gathers in the village drinking water tanks, the responsibility rests with the local village panchayat to distribute it.”
He adds, “While other sections of the population do get water, the pipelines leading to the Dalit area are several years old and they do not have enough capacity to deliver water to the Dalit families, who live a segregated locality.”
“The Dalit families have to dig seven to eight feet deep holes in order to obtain water from the pipeline”, the letter says, calling the two village panchayats’ attitude as “discriminatory” and “amounting to untouchability.”
The letter says, “With the summer approaching, the Dalit families are obliged to buy water from private tankers. Sometimes, the families have to use dirty water from the nearby pond. As a result, there have been complaints of Dalit family members falling ill.”
The letter says that the Dalit families have made frequent complaints to the local officials, including the taluka mamlatdar of Limdi, under which the two villages are situated, and the government engineer looking after water supply, apart from local village officials and the village sarpanch.
“These complaints have made little difference”, the letter says, adding, “No one has cared to begin work for fresh pipelines towards the Dalit areas of the two villages.”
Demanding immediate provision of Narmada waters to the Dalit localities, the letter insists, “There should be a separate overhead tank for them under the provisions of the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP). Besides, the MLA and MP of the region should be asked to set aside their funds for the Dalits.”
The letters have been addressed to the chief minister amidst Navsarjan Trust, in a statement, insisting that the Gujarat government has not been spending funds allocated under the SCSP in the state budget.
Kirit Parmar, senior activist of Navsarjan Trust said, an analysis of the budget for the financial years 2013-14 and 2014-15 suggests that there was a provision of around Rs 600 crore for creating Narmada-based water supply mechanism for the Dalit areas during the two years.
“Despite this provision”, he says, “The Dalit families in Gujarat villages are deprived of Narmada waters, with the state government adopting an indifferent attitude towards them. Thus, in 2013-14, 62.78 per cent of the allocation (Rs 327.78 crore), and in 2014-15, 71.73 per cent of the allocation (Rs 361.47 crore) was spent for the Dalits.”

Comments

TRENDING

Vaccine nationalism? Covaxin isn't safe either, perhaps it's worse: Experts

By Rajiv Shah  I was a little awestruck: The news had already spread that Astrazeneca – whose Indian variant Covishield was delivered to nearly 80% of Indian vaccine recipients during the Covid-19 era – has been withdrawn by the manufacturers following the admission by its UK pharma giant that its Covid-19 vector-based vaccine in “rare” instances cause TTS, or “thrombocytopenia thrombosis syndrome”, which lead to the blood to clump and form clots. The vaccine reportedly led to at least 81 deaths in the UK.

'Scientifically flawed': 22 examples of the failure of vaccine passports

By Vratesh Srivastava*   Vaccine passports were introduced in late 2021 in a number of places across the world, with the primary objective of curtailing community spread and inducing "vaccine hesitant" people to get vaccinated, ostensibly to ensure herd immunity. The case for vaccine passports was scientifically flawed and ethically questionable.

'Misleading' ads: Are our celebrities and public figures acting responsibly?

By Deepika* It is imperative for celebrities and public figures to act responsibly while endorsing a consumer product, the Supreme Court said as it recently clamped down on misleading advertisements.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Mired in controversy, India's polio jab programme 'led to suffering, misery'

By Vratesh Srivastava*  Following the 1988 World Health Assembly declaration to eradicate polio by the year 2000, to which India was a signatory, India ran intensive pulse polio immunization campaigns since 1995. After 19 years, in 2014, polio was declared officially eradicated in India. India was formally acknowledged by WHO as being free of polio.

In defence of Sam Pitroda: Is calling someone look like African, black racist?

By Rajiv Shah  Sam Pitroda, known as the father of Indian telecom revolution, has been in the midst of a major controversy for a remark on how Indians across the regions look different. While one can understand Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking it up for his electoral gain, suggesting it showed the racist Congress mindset, what was unpalatable to me was Congress leaders – particularly Jairam Ramesh, known for his deep intellectual understand – distancing themselves from what Pitroda had said.

Palm oil industry 'deceptively using' geenwashing to market products

By Athena*  Corporate hypocrisy is a masterclass in manipulation that mostly remains undetected by consumers and citizens. Companies often boast about their environmental and social responsibilities. Yet their actions betray these promises, creating a chasm between their public image and the grim on-the-ground reality. This duplicity and severely erodes public trust and undermines the strong foundations of our society.

'Fake encounter': 12 Adivasis killed being dubbed Maoists, says FACAM

Counterview Desk   The civil rights network* Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM), even as condemn what it has called "fake encounter" of 12 Adivasi villagers in Gangaloor, has taken strong exception to they being presented by the authorities as Maoists.

No compensation to family, reluctance to file FIR: Manual scavengers' death

By Arun Khote, Sanjeev Kumar*  Recently, there have been four instances of horrifying deaths of sewer/septic tank workers in Uttar Pradesh. On 2 May, 2024, Shobran Yadav, 56, and his son Sushil Yadav, 28, died from suffocation while cleaning a sewer line in Lucknow’s Wazirganj area. In another incident on 3 May 2024, two workers Nooni Mandal, 36 and Kokan Mandal aka Tapan Mandal, 40 were killed while cleaning the septic tank in a house in Noida, Sector 26. The two workers were residents of Malda district of West Bengal and lived in the slum area of Noida Sector 9.