Question 1: Why do you think there are so few cases of private water supply in the world?
Answer: Water is a basic necessity for all. Nobody can live without water. Hence, universal access to safe drinking water is necessary for quality of life. Many water borne diseases can be prevented by providing safe drinking water to people. This also helps in bringing down the child mortality rate.
In view of this, water needs to be supplied either free of charge or at a charge that is affordable by everyone. Private companies operate with the main goal of earning maximum profit. Hence, a private company cannot be in a position to supply water at a rate which is affordable to all people. Due to this, there are very few cases of private water supply in the world.
Question 2: Do you think water in Chennai is available and affordable to all? Discuss.
Answer: Water in Chennai is supplied by the municipality. But municipality is unable to meet 100% of demand. Some areas get regular water supply while many areas get erratic supply of water. Poor people do not get adequate water on most of the days. People from the middle class and upper class buy water from tankers. They also buy packaged drinking water. But poor people cannot afford the expensed of tanker or packaged water. This shows that water in Chennai is not available and affordable to all.
Question 3: How is the sale of water by farmers to water dealers in Chennai affecting the local people? Do you think local people can object to such exploitation of groundwater? Can the government do anything in this regard?
Answer: Sale of water by farmers to water dealers in Chennai is affecting the local people in negative ways. It is reducing the supply of water for local people. It is resulting in falling levels of water table. Local people can object to such exploitation of groundwater. But they need to become united to do so. Government can also interfere in this matter and stop exploitation of groundwater. The government can order for arrest of water dealers and greedy farmers. A suitable charge can be framed against them, and they should be punished accordingly. This will act as a deterrent against such offence.
Question 4: Why are most of the private hospitals and private schools located in major cities and not in towns or rural areas?
Answer: The private hospitals and private schools are opened with the sole motive of earning profit. They charge high amount of money from their customers. The hefty amount of money; charged by such hospitals and schools; can only be affordable for some selected people even in cities. There would be nobody to afford such a high cost in towns and villages. Hence, most of the private hospitals and private schools are located in major cities and not in towns or rural areas.
Question 5: Do you think the distribution of public facilities in our country is adequate and fair? Give an example of your own to explain.
Answer: I live in an urban area. The area where I live is a middle class locality; with a few slums in between buildings. The buildings in this area get municipal water supply. But water comes only twice a day, i.e. for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. Situation often becomes worse during summer months. Situation in the slum is even worse because of presence of just one tap for about 50 houses. People in slum can often be seen fighting with each other to get water. The electricity supply is also erratic and we get power cut for at least 8 hours in a day. There is a bus stop near this area and thus we have access to public transport. Frequency of buses is very good and most of the people are satisfied with the service. Sanitation is a big issue in this area. This is evident from heaps of garbage and overflowing drains. This can be said that distribution of public facilities is neither adequate nor fair.
Question 6: Take some of the public facilities in your area, such as water, electricity, etc. Is there scope to improve these? What in your opinion should be done? Complete the table.
|Public Facilities||Is it available?||How can it be improved?|
|Water||Yes||There should be 24 hour supply of water.|
|Electricity||Yes||There should be 24 hour supply of electricity|
|Roads||Yes||Roads are good and there is no need for improvement.|
|Public Transport||Yes||Public transport is good, but we need better connectivity with some more areas of the city.|
Question 7: Are the above public facilities shared equally by all the people in your area? Elaborate.
Answer: Water supply is not shared equally by all the people in this area. While each house in middle class locality has separate connection for water, about 50 houses in the slum have to manage with a single water tap. While people of middle class homes can buy water from tankers in case of need, those in slum are not in a position to do so. However, other facilities, like electricity, road and public transport are shared equally by all.
Question 8: Data on some of the public facilities are collected as part of the Census. Discuss with your teacher when and how the Census is conducted.
Answer: Census is conducted by the government. The whole operation takes place in two stages. The first stage involved ‘House Listing’. The second stage involved enumeration of data. Thousands of paid volunteers are employed on contract basis for this task. The volunteers go from door to door to collect data. The data is finally tabulated and calculated to give the final report.
Question 9: Private educational institutions; schools, colleges, universities, technical and vocational training institutes are coming up in our country in a big way. On the other hand, educational institutions run by the government are becoming relatively less important. What do you think would be the impact of this? Discuss.
Answer: Coming up of private educational institutions and decline of government educational institutions is a bad omen. Earning profit is the main motivation for private schools. Private schools charge very high fee which is out of reach for most of the people. In the absence of affordable education, education will be out of reach for majority of the population. Education is a basic need and hence there should be universal access to education. Lack of universal access to education will result in a country with large number of uneducated people. This will be bad for the development of human resources in the country.