Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), is increasingly funding
non-governmental organisations in India with novel ideas. "Although bilateral funding
gets priority. However, upto ten per cent of the funds are kept aside for multilateral
projects", said Vijay Kumar, program officer, DANIDA, New Delhi.
"There are no written guidelines for such minor projects. Per project funding vary
between Rs 15 lakhs to 1 crore for a period of four years", said Kumar. However,
every proposal has to undergo a screening process. Innovative and community-based
developmental ideas get priority. Rajiv Gandhi Foundation got support for creating the
core of water warriors in drought hit state of Rajasthan. This is just one
leaf from DANIDA funding book. The application procedures are rather simple. Interested
organisations can send in the concept paper. If approved, DANIDA itself will help in
Royal Danish Embassy,
11, Aurangzeb Road,
New Delhi 110011; Tel: 23010004
Water in its natural state is not a threat but a life saviour. But in the developing
countries, millions and millions of people continue to suffer from water borne diseases,
like cholera, polio,dysentery, typhoid, hepatitis and leptospirosis to name only a few.
Such epidemics have been virtually eliminated from the developed world since the 1920s.
The extensive use of filtration and chlorination facilitated this change. During the
second world war, the process of desalination developed. The standards of the quality of
drinking water were legally defined in these countries, strengthening their safety
networks. In countries like India, although the provision of safe drinking water has
improved but sanitation has not received much attention, leading to the poor state of
affairs. Let us focus on India.
First digest this.
India, epidemics are common. The presence of laws like Water Prevention and Control of
Pollution Act, 1974 or new cures and programs like National Cholera Control and Polio
Immunization has not made any significant difference. The lower income group continue to
be the worst affected. This situation is not going to change for better - if the state
continues to overlook the root cause of the problem ie, accessibility to clean water and
- About 60 per cent of urban deaths in India are due to lack of safe drinking water
facilities. Further deaths due to water borne diseases are second only to malnutrition;
- Sewage and not the industrial pollution accounts for more than 75 per cent of the
surface water contamination in India. Due to negligence, groundwater is also increasingly
Provision of safe drinking water is a political and social problem rather than a
technical one. In the developing world, it is intimately connected to the issue of
poverty, underdevelopment, and depleting ecology.