India of the major environmental issues that has

India is known
for its topographical and environmental diversity. The population of the
country is spread across various regions that differ in their sustainability.
Moreover, the developmental process has not been uniform in all the parts of
the country, in spite of efforts. Now, one needs to reckon that however
paradoxical the term might be, the country of India is reckoned among the
‘developing’ nations of the world. One of the foremost markers of development
is the way in which the governance can deal with environmental barriers to
holistic development. However, a number of environmental challenges thwart the
path of holistic development in the Indian context. It needs to be reckoned
that by holistic development, one should not think of capitalist infringement
of rural milieu or exploitation of the environment in the name of
‘development.’

The disparity of
economic classes among the people of the Indian society adds to the problems of
holistic development. Nature too poses hindrance in certain areas of the
country, and challenges the scope of proper sustenance. In science, the debate
of nature versus nurture has intrigued scholars for long. Now, if one views the
challenges of nature that are posed to human community of a milieu, the need of
nurture or human intervention can be comprehended. Obviously, one aims to
endeavor here to delve deep into how humans can overcome the challenges to
sustenance that are posed by the nature (or environment).

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I.                   
NON-UNIFORMITY
OF DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA

Not digressing
from the Indian context anymore, one can talk about the non-uniform nature of
development that has added to the subsequent disparity among the communities or
rungs of the Indian society. In a country that is yet to do away with its
colonial hangover, development of the rural (or economically backward) masses
has been one of the primary challenges. Now, this sluggishness in the overall
development of rural India has only added to the disparities and woes of rural
population.

One has to
reckon the fact that arsenic-containing drinking water has been one of the
major environmental issues that has thwarted the well-being of considerable
number of people across India. In
the wake of the severe threat posed by arsenic poisoning in parts of India, the
government is yet bring the entire population within the secure domain. Now, this issue has become a major
concern for the government. But thankfully, in the present era, nexus between
the government and non-government developmental organizations provide the much
needed hope and respite from the issue.

II.                 
THE ROLE OF NGO:
A CASE STUDY

Tollygunge
Sundarban People’s World is a non-government organization which deals in
community drinking water. Now, it needs to be reckoned that arsenic poisoning
occurs through water consumption. In the areas that are affected by arsenic,
people get exposed to the threat of arsenic toxicity. With a vision to
neutralize this enormous threat to human health, the contextual developmental
organization started its functioning. The NGO in context has been functional
for a number of years now, and has utilized all its resources to combat with
the challenge of arsenic toxicity in the southern region of the state of West
Bengal, India.

Jeevanamritt,
the brand name, distributes pure water to a considerable number of people in
West Bengal. The water is treated with reverse osmosis and seven levels of
filtration, including UV ray treatment and ozonization. The water that is
processed under the supervision of the organization in context is distributed
in the arsenic affected areas of South 24 Parganas at a very nominal price of 0.75
paisa per liter. Thus, it is understandable how the organization in context is
committed to the cause of uplifting the lifestyle of the common people of the
state. Jeevanamritt started working in October 2014, and since then the
organization has served more than 10,000 houses. Currently, Jeevanamritt has
around 20 community distributors and more than 6,000 registered households.
Their process of functioning is similar to LPG cooking gas delivery system in
India.

Area covered directly by the
developmental organization:

•         
Dhapdhapi
1 gram panchayat

Population: 16500 approx.

•         
Dhapdhapi
2 gram panchayat

Population: 17000 approx.

Both areas are
enormously affected by arsenic and the drinking water supply of the
developmental organization aids to the needs of the people. Thus, one can
understand the extensive functioning of this non-governmental organization in
the rural region of the state of West Bengal, India.

III.              
ANALYSIS OF THE
FUNCTIONING OF THE NGO

The management
and work force of the developmental organization went on to start their work
through conducting a survey of the area that was supposed to be covered. The
organization focused on spreading awareness about fresh and pure drinking water
and its benefits among the people so that they could readily agree to subscribe
to the services provided by the organization. This was followed by registration
of the households who would get the services. The organization started
receiving requirements through Facebook community page, phone, SMS as well as
door to door knocking. To increase the area of operation the developmental
organization has recruited community distributors who follow the same steps. It
needs to be noted that the customer gives them empty jar and they provide the
customers filled up water jars.

In this era of
digital technology and Internet, the population of West Bengal is greatly
inclined toward using social media for communication. The developmental
organization has banked on the ease of communication via social media for the
purpose of raising awareness. Social media exposure let the organization reach
out to mainly the younger generations of the area of functioning via community
groups. The younger generations having been convinced of the issue,
face-to-face awareness programs in the area via public meetings, posters and
leaflet distribution became much easier. The developmental organization makes
sure that the representatives are in constant touch with the customers via the
social media platforms, thereby catapulting the relationship with the people.
Representatives address queries, meet requirements or take complaints via
social media. This has helped building the trust between the developmental
organization and the local people. Thus, one can very well comprehend how
communication has come to be the key to success in such ventures. In the
present era, social media or other forms of communication have the omnipotent role
in spreading awareness, execution of brand-customer relationship, and so on.
While messaging or face-to-face communication remain as viable options, the
younger masses are getting engaged and influenced by social media. The proper
functioning of the organization can be credited to its apt utilization of the
mediums of mass communication.

IV.               
CONCLUSION

Such
developmental works across the society as the one discussed are potentially
based on public awareness and engagement. With rapid globalization and spread
of technology across the world, social media would have an important role in
awareness programs and mobilization of people. The success story of Tollygunge
Sundarban People’s World can be seen as an inspiring microcosm indeed. Many
other non-governmental organizations are functioning at present for the purpose
of development of the masses. The government should explore the scope of
engaging and supporting more such developmental organizations for potential
work so as to speed up the process of uplifting the conditions of sustenance of
the people. Proper planning and execution in this regard can work as catalysts
to fight issues that threaten public well-being as in the case of arsenic
toxicity in South 24 Parganas in the state of West Bengal, India. The same
model of functioning can be used by other organizations in other areas to
produce effective results when it comes to developmental work. 

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