The Right Path To
The Mainstream
For Reaching the Unreached

A Handbook on Human Right to Water & Sanitation
in India and Mechanisms for Redressal

About The Author

Dr M R Seetharam

Dr. M R Seetharam has been part of Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM), a Development organisation headquartered in Sargur, Mysore since its inception in 1984. He is currently the Executive Director of VILD Foundation, and the Managing Trustee of DISHA (Development Initiatives for Sustainable Human Advancement) Foundation.
An Orthopaedic Surgeon by training, Dr Seetharam has all along been a public health practitioner and development activist at heart. He has envisaged and led the implementation of many grassroots level initiatives across key dimensions of Community Development including Health, Education, Socio-economic Empowerment and Training. Disability, Water-Sanitation-Hygiene-Environment, Tribal Development, Culture-Heritage, Microfinance have been some of the key areas of his interest and expertise.
Dr Seetharam has been part of many networks in sectors like WASH, Disability, HIV and Tribal Development. He has been actively involved in formation and growth of FANSA – Freshwater Action Network South Asia, and is currently a member of the Steering Committee at the Regional South Asia level. He is a member of the Steering Committee of Sanitation & Water For All, a global platform hosted by UNICEF, where he represents the South Asian CSO sector. He has been a Resource Person and invited speaker on many diverse aspects of Development, including Health, Education, Youth-Women Development, WASH, IWRM, Tribal Development etc. He is also involved in varied pursuits including Spirituality, Culture-Heritage, Archaeology-History, bird watching, wildlife and astronomy. Study of literature, especially Sanskrit, is of great interest.
You can reach him at [email protected]

About The Author

Mr. Purna Chandra Misra

Mr. Purna Chandra Misra holds a postgraduate degree in Economics along with a Bachelor degree in Education. His journey in social service started early during his student days where he involved himself as student leader at the state level. He founded the Indian Institute of Youth and Development (IIYD) in 1978, with the objective of promoting youth participation in community development especially focusing on the down-trodden. He has led many grassroot level initiatives in areas including Rural Development, Health, Agriculture, Water and Sanitation, Science Communication and popularisation.

Widely travelled within India and across the globe, he has presented 28 papers in international fora, and has over 50 publications on topics related to Development. He was instrumental in the formation and growth of FANSA (Freshwater Action Network of South Asia), and is currently a member of the regional steering committee. He is a past member of the steering committee of End Water Poverty (EWP) and is presently a member of its Task Team. He is also a member of Human Rights To Water (HR2W) Switzerland. He has contributed to many other NGO networks like the Viswa Yuvak Kendra, OISCA, OVHA etc. and continues to be an active member and promoter of many networks in the sectors like Water-sanitation, Human Rights, Youth Development, Health and HIV-AIDS.
You can reach him at – [email protected]

About the Book

Water as a basic prerequisite for life is unquestionable, non-negotiable. So is Sanitation – an integral part of Water as a basic need, and so is Hygiene – the three therefore always go bundled together as WASH. However, access to this basic need is a distant dream for millions of our community members.

Decades of experience at the grassroots
have taught us that while many institutional mechanisms have been set up for incorporating these high ideals of participatory, equitable and inclusive progress, there is a major gap in the Knowledge-Attitude-Practice of all the stakeholders in this regard.

Hence this humble initiative in the form of a compilation of basic information about human rights, WASH rights, & introductory information regarding the institutional mechanisms that are available for redressal of any deprivations and deviations from the stated objective of WASH for all. Apart from addressing the ‘Why’ and ‘What’ of these aspects,we have also tried to incorporate some points to cover the ‘How’ – by listing out the contact details of relevant departments & the methods of contacting them.

The book comprises following main parts:
1) An introduction to Human Rights and Human Right to Water and Sanitation, emphasising on the equal importance of Responsibilities and Rights, and the importance of WASH in the setting of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

2) Current scenario of WASH at National level and of Odisha State.

3) A look at the marginalised sections who face deprivation of WASH, and their vulnerabilities.

4) The platforms available for redressal of their grievances & a simple guide on how to access these mechanisms.


“A compilation of basic
concepts of Human Right and Right to water and Sanitation is a step in
right direction to create awareness about the available services and
the mechanism to access these services” – Prof Ganeshi Lal, Governor, Odisha State, India


“We felt that there is a need to build a better understanding of the
concepts of Human Rights and Right to Water-Sanitation among all the stakeholders” – Dr  M R Seetharam

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2024- The Right Path to the Mainstream For Reaching the Unreached