1.1 Evolution of Local Governance in India
(a) Pre-British Local Governance
India‘s old sacred books and historical sources mention village communities (councils or assemblies) across the sub-continent that were self-governing over millennia, serving as the main interface between the predominantly agrarian village economies and the higher authorities.
(b) Pre-Independence Panchayats
Several steps were taken during British rule in India towards setting-up formal local bodies.
24th April, 2011: The National Panchayati Raj Divas was today observed with a call from the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to act collectively in bringing decentralisation of self governance at the grass root level. He said thouth the concept of Self Government has now constitutional and legal recognition but still we have to go a long way. Dr.
The basic concept of collecting domestic liquid waste in water-borne sewer systems, treating the wastewater in centralised treatment plants and discharging the effluent to surface water bodies became the accepted, conventional approach to sanitation in urban areas in Europe in the last century.
India has made considerable progress in sanitation since the launch of the Total Sanitation Campaign. However, concerns have been raised about its sustainability. This documen is the culmination of research and discussions on the experiences of civil society organisations implementing sustainable sanitation campaigns in six Indian states. Their initiative indicate that a typical campaign spread over 3-5 years comprises of 4 distinct phases and involves a series of activities.
Remarkable progress has been made over the last decades in the water and sanitation sector. However, still some 1.1 billion people do not have access to safe water and 2.4 billion lack access to improved sanitation services (WHO, 2000). Over 90% of the people that are currently un-served live in Asia and Africa. The existing frustration is worsened by the fact that much of the gains in service coverage have been offset by population growth and rapid urbanisation.
Local officials in a district in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province are trying out social “contracts” to encourage villagers to build and use latrines. So far five families in the province’s Timor Tengah Selatan District have signed such a contract, which is countersigned by representatives of three levels of government.
Even though 80% of households in the district have latrines, less than half of them are used, according to local officials. Open defecation is common and people don’t wash their hands.
A report by WHO-UNICEF says that Indians comprised 58 percent of all people who defecate in the open.
This is one statistics that will put India in the poor light. A report by WHO-UNICEF says that Indians comprised 58 percent of all people who defecate in the open. However, the worldwide figures show a decline from the previous years’. The report points out that open defecation worldwide is on decline from 25 per cent in 1990 to 17 per cent in 2008.
Some of the key findings of the report:
Kenya: With the rising cases of insecurity and violence against women and children in the informal settlements in the city, a petition is underway to be sent to the Government to address this menace.
Using household survey data, this paper estimates the mortality impact of improved water and sanitation access in order to evaluate the potential contribution of water and sanitation investment toward achieving the child mortality targets defined in Millennium Development Goal 4.
The latest coverage statistics give a mixed message: the world is now on track to meet the MDG water target, but has fallen dangerously behind in sanitation. Two and half billion people are still without access to improved sanitation – including 1.2 billion who have no facilities at all and are forced to engage in the hazardous and demeaning practise of open defecation. The news is better for water: the number of people without an improved source has dropped below one billion for the first time in history.