Access to Civil Amenities of Dalits in Eastern Uttar Pradesh: The Poverty Question or Social Exclusion

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 11:00
Location: Hörsaal 6D P (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Bibhuti MALIK, Department of Sociology, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
The fundamental concern of poverty studies is lack of resources or capabilities to participate fully in a society. Sociologists believe that poverty statistics are meaningful social indicators of basic needs. Their interests in poverty studies center around the ideas of the ‘culture’ of poverty and the effects of ‘place’ on poverty. Role of culture, power, social structure, and other factors largely out of control of the individual are the main forces which sociologists use to explain poverty. The basic working hypothesis is that individuals are strongly influenced by the physical and cultural context in which they live. Mostly the physical and cultural settings start with the housing and civil amenities surrounding it. Poor housing is of ‘deprivations in human development such as average number of rooms; average number of habitable rooms; and average number of people occupying a room’. Consequently, ‘housing or shelter is one of the essential prerequisites for human development. Access to safe drinking water, toilet and electricity are the three main household amenities that closely influence human productivity, performance, efficiency and the overall quality of life, and are closely associated with health outcomes’. That's why the need to provide adequate, suitable and equitable housing has remained a major priority of every government and is one of the effective means to alleviate poverty too.

Based on empirical data the paper discusses the housing condition, access to safe drinking water, toilet facilities and sources of energy in Dalit households in eastern Uttar Pradesh. It also highlights the crowding of living spaces by cross-tabulating the size of households by the availability of rooms in every house. Further it is explained that how access to housing and household amenities as the indicators of poverty and social exclusion.