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Cities, sewers and poverty : India's politics of sanitation

This paper discusses the political circumstances which help explain why the insanitary living conditions of such a large section of India's urban population have been ignored, and contrasts these with the circumstances which explain successful sanitary reform in Britain in the second half of the 19th century. In India, there is little middle class pressure for sanitary reform, in part because of the ability of the middle classes to monopolize what basic urban services the state provides, in part because modern medicine and civil engineering have lowered the health risks that they might face from the sanitation-related diseases that lower income groups suffer. In addition, the 'threat from below' including organized trade union pressure was more influential in mid 19th century Britain than in India today. The paper ends by reflecting on what factors might change this. (Author's abstract)

TitleCities, sewers and poverty : India's politics of sanitation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsChaplin, S.E.
Paginationp. 145-158
Date Published1999-04-01
Keywordscomparative analysis, health aspects, india, policies, sanitation, sdiasi, sdipol, sdiurb, social aspects, technology, united kingdom, urban areas
Abstract

This paper discusses the political circumstances which help explain why the insanitary living conditions of such a large section of India's urban population have been ignored, and contrasts these with the circumstances which explain successful sanitary reform in Britain in the second half of the 19th century. In India, there is little middle class pressure for sanitary reform, in part because of the ability of the middle classes to monopolize what basic urban services the state provides, in part because modern medicine and civil engineering have lowered the health risks that they might face from the sanitation-related diseases that lower income groups suffer. In addition, the 'threat from below' including organized trade union pressure was more influential in mid 19th century Britain than in India today. The paper ends by reflecting on what factors might change this. (Author's abstract)

Notes46 ref.
Custom 1822, 205.42

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The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.