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Between Stagnancy and Affluence: Reinterpreting Water Poverty and Domestic Flows in Delhi, India

Heather O’Leary

Society & Natural Resources: An International Journal, Volume 29, Issue 6, 2016

Hydrological systems are reflective of the social systems from which they spring. A close examination of the water narratives in a Central Delhi slum reveals that these are imbued with language of developmental struggle and social injustice. This brings clear voice to otherwise tacit, abstract flows ranging from the movement of women, to the circulation of money, and distribution of water, illustrating the delineation and control of the borders and categories over which things flow. In the slum, residents mark the success of their lives, and their measure of the future, by the passing of time in waiting for water. Some residents are believed to live in a state of financial, temporal, and hydrological affluence, while others identify the flows in their lives as stagnant. These abstractions are manifested in stories of daily water struggles, reflecting identities and worldviews that shed light on perceptions of development that are otherwise difficult to express.

URL: http://tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08941920.2016.1150534

Courtesy: T&F

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