Monday, 17 Feb 2020
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How It All Began

Tsunami struck the world, wrecking the lives of millions. Even as relief operations and rehabilitation efforts went underway something deeply disturbing and shocking emerged. The most needy and the most deprived became systematically excluded. They included Dalits, tribals, minorities, women-headed families, children, and the aged.

The repetitive pattern of exclusion had become too worrisome to ignore, whether it was the Gujarat earthquake (2001) or the floods in Orissa (2001); they confirmed and reinforced the urgency for addressing the question of social exclusion and discrimination.


Envisioning Change

SEW will enlarge the role of Social Equity Audit by providing a wide platform of sharing the equity concerns and to politically engage in the promotion of social equity. The Social equity watch does not confine it’s focus to the disaster contexts and subsequent emergency programmes, but will also look into the strategic interventions and policy initiatives which may bring about massive exclusions in the longer run.


National Infrastructure Equity Audit


The Indian government’s focus on rural development and the number of flagship programmes championing welfare schemes for rural India notwithstanding access to infrastructure is marred by exclusion. Location and distribution of village-level infrastructure and essential services are seldom equitably distributed. In order to substantiate this, Social Equity Watch, which operates as a platform for organisations and people who believe in inclusive politics, undertook an equity audit.


The National Infrastructure Equity Audit, in 2011 mapped 125 Gram Panchayats in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Orissa and Rajasthan, covering around 1000 caste/religious habitations. It captures information on access of different social groups to village-level public infrastructure, including (a) Anganwadi centre; (b) health centre; (c) drinking water;  (d) community centre; (e) electricity; (f) police station; (g) agriculture centre; (h) panchayat bhavan; (i) road (j) public distribution system; (k) post office; (l) school; (m) telephone/information kiosk.



The study findings of NIEA phase I, was disseminated through a meeting on 13th July, 2011, 9:30 am to 1:30 pm, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi, India

The consultation received good suggestions by participating organizations and individuals who work on issues of equity. On 20th July, the next steps and NIEA phase II are discussed at National Foundation for India.