Many modes of protest

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Nearly 400 people from slum clusters got together on Thursday on the occasion of International Information Day to protest against the Delhi Government's reported move to privatise water distribution in the Capital.

The protest was aimed at spreading awareness on how privatisation would affect the common man. The demonstration was part of the agitation now under way against the water sector reforms being undertaken by the Government on the `guidelines' of the World Bank and its attempt to impose its conditions on the Jal Board. Students of Lady Irwin College held a similar demonstration in the form of a street play.

In the drama enacted by students, the message conveyed was that the process of privatisation of water in Delhi so far does not meet the essential requirements of good governance in a democracy. Privatisation of something as basic as water, which one needs even to survive, is clearly violating the basic principles of democracy. Studies of the experience of water privatisation in other countries reveal that it has resulted in financial and human disasters for the people, while the water companies have made what seem to be exorbitant profits. The whole programme was held under the guidance of Right to Water Campaign.

In a country like India, one of the few active members in space technology and now an IT superpower, the technology for water need not be imported from overseas.

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