Caste realities and the struggles of India’s adivasi and dalit population in accessing groundwater

Ramakrishnan, Abhilasha (2021) Caste realities and the struggles of India’s adivasi and dalit population in accessing groundwater. In: Groundwater law and management in India : From an elitist to an egalitarian paradigm. Springer Verlag, Singapore, pp. 31-48. ISBN 9789811626197

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India’s Adivasi and Dalit population—officially termed the “Scheduled Tribes” (ST) and the “Scheduled Castes” (SC)—have faced, and continue to face,
many social disadvantages. This Chapter examines one such discrimination that these groups face and the existing nature of their rights over groundwater. It explores three significant challenges faced by them as regards accessing groundwater resources: firstly, the individual ownership of groundwater tied to the concept of private land ownership; secondly, the practice of untouchability, discrimination and the social exclusion of such communities from using public water structures; and thirdly, the social subjugation by dominant castes and elites that hinders their pursuit for water justice. In doing so, this chapter examines the ideal proposed by the 2016 Model Groundwater Bill to remove private monopoly over groundwater and vest its control and management with the State in public trust. The central argument that it forwards is that this may enable the impoverished and the marginalized better access to the much needed clean water for their survival, provided that the constitutional and legislative protections afforded to them are effectively enforced. This could also alleviate the everyday struggles faced by the Adivasi and Dalit population in accessing water.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Adivasis | Dalits | Untouchability | Ostracization | Land Ownership | ad coleum
Subjects: Physical, Life and Health Sciences > Environmental Science, Policy and Law
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Mr. Syed Anas
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2022 05:57
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2023 06:13
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