Q) Elucidate the impact of absence of tap connections on the social relations in the rural areas of India. (150 Words)
GS 1: Salient features of Indian Society
Introduction: In India out of around 22 crore households only 6.15 crore (32.3%) households of the country are getting tap water supply into their homes. Thus majority of households do not have tapped water connection this has many socio-economic implications. Further, more than six lakh toilets in rural India have acute water shortage. Around 1,20,000 toilets have no water supply and thousands of toilets are completely abandoned, with collapsing roofs, water pipes in poor shape and soggy, broken doors.
Impact on social relations:
1. Impact on gender relations:
a. Increased household work: It is generally the women who are given the responsibility of fetching water from faraway locations.
b. Reduced incomes and savings: This prevents women from doing other jobs and earn or save.
c. Issue of security: Women often have to go into open to defecate as dry latrines are not difficult to manage.
2. Impact on caste relations:
a. Sanitation work: Dry laterines creates incentive for the dirty work to be done by the members of so called 'lower castes' in the society.
b. Violation of Manual scavanging Law: Prohibition of Employment of Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, strictly bans manual scavanging.
c. Breeds age old discrimination: This customary work breeds discrimination and prevents elevation of such castes in the society. This leads to separation of water resources, water tanks and wells, widening the socio-economic gap between communities.
3. Impact on Children:
a. Pressure on teenage girls: This adds to the pressure on the teenage girls, pushing them away from education and towards marriage.
b. Poor health and sanitation: This leads to degradation of the human resources.
4. At the household level: It breeds poverty.
Thus tapped water connection is not only an economic necessity but also a societal necessity. For this the government has launched Jal Jeevan Mission(JJM). In 2020-21, a sum of ?23,500 crore has been allocated for the implementation of the JJM. Besides this, in 2020-21, 50% of 15th Finance Commission Grants to Rural Local Bodies, that is, ?30,375 crore as a tied grant, will be utilised for water supply and sanitation.
Conclusion: Thus, it can be said that the aim of Sanitation and Open defecation free environment cannot be fulfilled unless tapped water connection to every household is achieved. Great progress is made in this regard each year with more than 3 crore households are given tap water connections anually.