International Conference
Political Economy of Water: A Social Work Response

From the Conference Desk

Water is a fundamental right of all human beings because it significantly affects the quality of life and enables people, especially the poor, to live with dignity.

Global geo-politics has ensured acute disparities in water wealth, chronic insufficiencies and deteriorating environmental sustainability. Albeit their minimal contribution, the impact of these disparities and insufficiencies is significantly borne by the poor.

Water is a natural resource and has remained with people as common property. However, today, water in all its forms is less a resource and more a precious commodity coveted by all, and with ownership claims by many vested interests. This is evident when governments collude to fulfill private corporate interests and bypass the needs of the marginalized. The water-based ecosystem forming the base of human civilization is under threat with its growing scarcity. Monopolization and privatization of water distribution and unequal consumption has led to water becoming out of reach of the common people globally. The priorities of development further widen the disparities in favor of the affluent. The politics of water is apparent in the inequitable per capita distribution of water to urban and rural areas. The average amount of water required daily is 135 litres. Metropolises get 300-350 litres per day (LPD) whereas towns and villages may get only 100 and 30 litres LPD respectively. This is also evident when large reservoirs are used to supply water to cities whereas the surrounding villages face scarcity. This inequitable distribution of water results in misappropriation. The situation is further complicated by using fresh potable water for unsuitable purposes such as cleaning and gardening. This wasteful consumption of water denies the marginalized a just share of this natural resource.

A significant number of organizations and governments the world over are working on this challenge and developing sustainable intervention models. There are several community driven approaches where the attempt is to bring water within the reach of people and help establish their ownership and right on it.

The social work profession with the commitment to work with the marginalized and the underprivileged cannot be immune to the challenges posed by the scarcity of water. lt is inevitable that the profession joins the various efforts made the world over to tackle this problem head on. This international conference is an attempt by College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai, lndia, to examine specific nuances of water scarcity and develop viable social work intervention strategies based on the experiences of successful intervention models.

Objectives of the Conference

  1. To understand the issues of water misappropriation and mismanagement in the context of development
  2. To analyze the intervention models of both government and non-government organizations
  3. To develop a future perspective towards involvement of professional social work

Conference Themes

1. Water - A Human Right:

1" Water - A Human Right: The reducing amount of water fit for drinking and other domestic uses erodes the nights and dignity of the affected persons, especially of vulnerable groups including women, children and indigenous people. Monopolization and privatization have become the bane of the above-mentioned groups. These two processes have reduced people's physical, economic and social access to water and are also raising the spectre of conflict between classes and even nations.

2. The Politics and Dynamics of Water:

lndia, like many other countries, is witnessing the privatization of previously community-owned water resources. Both surface water and groundwater are being degraded by biological, toxic, organic and inorganic pollutants. Various technical and policy decisions also impact sanitation and hygiene. ln this context, it becomes important to understand the decision-making processes in sectors such as industry, agriculture, urbanization and sanitation. These sectors have far-reaching changes in the economic and social lives of people by influencing the distribution, management and consumption of water.

3. People-Centred Interventions:

lt is important to envisage the role of the community and other stakeholders in the process of policy and decision making. Thus, the conference will examine global and regional intervention models as well as mechanisms for redressal and protection in order to facilitate adequate transfer of information to the affected.

Dr. Geeta Balakrishnan, Principal


  1. Mr. Elvis Thomas, Faculty Member, College of Social Work
  2. Ms. Vaijayanta Anand, Faculty Member, College of Social Work
  3. Dr. Lidwin Dias, Faculty Member, College of Social Work
  4. Ms. Meghna Vesvikar, Faculty Member, College of Social Work

Advisory Committee

  1. Mr. Rajendra Singh, Tarun Bharat Sangh
  2. Prof. Haripriya Gundimeda, IIT, Mumbai
  3. Prof. KJ Joy, SOPPECOM
  4. Ms. Indavi Tulpule, Shramik Mukti Sanghatna
  5. Dr. Helen Joseph, Faculty Member, College of Social Work
  6. Ms. Anjali Kanitkar, Faculty Member, College of Social Work
  7. Dr. Hazel D’Lima, Former Principal, College of Social Work
  8. Ms. Farida Lambay, Former Vice-Principal, College of Social Work
  9. Dr. Gracy Fernandes, Vice President, Nirmala Niketan Institute


The registration fee will be paid in the form of bank draft and bash only. The registration fee covers only the conference kit and lunch and does not include lodging.

Registration Charges International Delegate  Indian Delegates
Early Bird Registration:
Up to 9th July, 2013
US $ 300 INR 2,500
General Registration:
10th July - 30th October, 2013
US $ 400 INR 3,500
Late Registration:
1st November - 18th December, 2013
US $ 450 INR 4,500
Mode of Payment Bank Draft Bank Draft or Cash
Bank draft to be in favor of Nirmala Niketan Institute, College of Social Work,
International Conference
Name of bank State Bank of India
Address Churchgate Branch,
Mumbai - 400 020, India

Call for Papers

presentations will be in the form of posters, videos and papers only. Selected papers will be presented in concurrent sessions. Three-four related papers will be presented in eaoh session. Each paper will be allotted 15 minutes of which 10 minutes will be for presentation and 5 minutes for discussion.

Guidelines for Abstracts

  1. The abstract should include the purpose of the presentation, the nature and scope of the topic, the major issues/problems and a concluding statement.
  2. The abstracts must be original and hitherto unpublished.
  3. The abstract should be upto 500 words.
  4. The abstract must be e-mailed to, addressed to Mr. Elvis Thomas or Ms. Meghna Vesvikar in MS Word format, in Times New Roman font, size 12, single spaced and justified.
  5. Abstracts will be accepted from 1st April, 2013. The final date for receiving abstracts is 30th July, 2013. Authors will be notified of the acceptance of their abstracts by 15th August, 2013. The final paper must be e-mailed to the Conference Secretariat by 30th August, 2013.
  6. All accepted papers will be published in the form of a compilation. Hence, contributors are requested to follow the APA guidelines for references.


For academic and technical support, please contact the Co-Conveners Mr. Elvis Thomas and Ms. Meghna Vesvikar.

Download the Registration Form

Click here to download

For online registration and further details, please refer to:


Address: College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, 38, New Marine Lines, Mumbai - 400020, lndia.

Phone: 0091 -22-220026 1 5, 22067 345

Fax:: 0091 -22-22014880

E-mail :

Conference Venue:

Hotel Atithi
Adjacent to Santacruz Airport
77A-B, Nehru Road, Vile Parle (E), Mumbai - 400 099, INDIA.
Tel: + 91 022 2618 7941 to 43 | + 91 022 2613 0874 & 75
Fax: + 91 022 2611 1998

Accomodation Details

Following are the Hostels available for accommodation at cheaper rates, kindly contact them personally and book in advance. These venues are approximately 10 kms away from the conference venue, Aditi Hotel Vile Parle


Contact Person
Ms. Betty Ignatius 022 29270952/29271485

Asha Kiran,
St. Pius College Campus,
Virwani Road, Gate No. 2,
Goregaon (East), Mumbai 400063

Particulars Total Rooms available  Charges Per person
2 Bedded Rooms 2 Rs. 500
3 Bedded Rooms 2 Rs. 500
Dormitory 30 beds
(Cubical style 2 each)
Rs. 250


Contact Person
Receptionist, 022 29270676

St. Pius College Campus,
Virwani Road, Gate No. 2,
Goregaon (East), Mumbai 400063

Particulars Charges Per person
Single room (non AC) Rs. 500
Double Occupancy Rs. 600
(300 per person)
Single Occupancy ( AC room) Rs. 1400
Double Occupancy( AC room) Rs. 1600
(800 per person)


Contact Person
Receptionist, Te. No. 022- 29270933

Bio Medical
St. Pius College Campus,
Virwani Road, Gate No. 2,
Goregaon (East), Mumbai 400063

Particulars Total Rooms available  Charges Per person
4 Bedded Rooms 8 Rs. 1000
( Rs. 250 per person)
Non AC 2 Bedded rooms 2 Rs. 600
( Rs. 300 per person)
Non AC single bed Rs. 300
AC Double Occupancy 4 Rs. 1500
( Rs. 750 per person)
AC Single Occupancy Rs. 1200

Kindly Note: For hotel accommodation in and around the conference venue – Room charges are from Rs. 3,500 to Rs. 4,000 per head per day. Please contact Mrs. Lincy George on this email id :

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