1st Edition

Environmental Communication and Water Management in India A Civil Society Perspective

By Ram Awtar Yadav, Kanchan K. Malik Copyright 2023
    152 Pages
    by Routledge India

    This book analyses the underlying communication strategies and approaches of grassroots water management practices in India through a case study-based ethnographic approach.

    Drawing from fieldwork experiences, this volume provides a detailed overview of Parmarth, a not-for-profit NGO, which is the case study for this research. It presents an in-depth theoretically informed analysis of data collected through multiple methods, which includes key informant interviews, focus group discussions, participant observation, and document reviews, among other approaches.

    The book examines Parmarth’s strategies and processes to mobilise women as important stakeholders in the region’s water conservation initiatives. It discusses communicative actions, tactics and campaigns in water interventions and the role of various stakeholders ranging from local community members to civil society.

    Accessibly written, this volume is a must-read for scholars and researchers of media and communication studies, environmental communication, ecology studies, development studies, public policy, sustainable development, water management, sociology, and political science.

    Preface and Acknowledgments. 1. Unearthing the Communication Ecology of Water Management 2. Analysing Water Management from an Environmental Communication Perspective: A Qualitative Approach 3. Building Capacities as Theory of Change: The Making of Jal Sahelis 4. Communication for Holistic and Sustainable Water Governance: Forging a Green Public Sphere 5. Campaigns for Collaborative Action: Advocacy by Civil Society about Water Matters 6. Towards Strategic Water-Centred Environmental Communication. References. Index


    Ram Awtar Yadav is an Assistant Professor at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Raebareli, India. Before joining NIFT, he worked as Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Journalism and Creative Studies at Jagran Lakecity University, Bhopal. He obtained Ph.D. from the Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad, India, in 2021. He did his Masters in Electronic Media from Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, Bhopal, in 2011, after which he worked as a journalist with The Hitavada, an English daily of Bhopal for around four years. He also worked as an assistant professor at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Guru Ghasidas University, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, before embarking on his doctoral journey.

    Kanchan K. Malik is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Hyderabad (UoH), India. She is a Faculty Fellow with the UNESCO Chair on Community Media and Editor of the newsletter – CR News. Kanchan’s PhD from UoH contributed to policy advocacy by civil society groups for community radio in India. With a dual Master’s in Economics and Mass Communication, she worked as a journalist with The Economic Times and as faculty in two reputable state universities before joining UoH in 2007. Her academic interests include Community Media and Women Empowerment, Journalism Studies, and Media Ethics. Kanchan was awarded the 2022-2023 Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship to visit the University of Texas at Austin. She is a co-author (with Vinod Pavarala) of the much-cited book Other Voices: The Struggle for Community Radio in India (2007). Kanchan’s recent co-edited volume (with Vinod Pavarala) is named Community Radio in South Asia: Reclaiming the Airwaves (Routledge: 2020). She published a manual last year titled Strengthening Gender-Sensitive Practices and Programming in Community Radio (UNESCO: 2021).

    “This book makes a critical contribution to environmental communication in India, a field of study much neglected, by offering a fine-grained analysis of communication strategies used by grassroots organisations in rural water management practices.  Located within the framework of sustainable development and communication, the authors provide valuable insights into the forging of an incipient green public sphere in Bundelkhand and underline the role of women in the process.”

    – Vinod PavaralaSenior Professor, Department of Communication & UNESCO Chair on Community Media, University of Hyderabad, India


    “This volume documents how a grassroots organization is intervening in a drought-ravaged region of India and offers an important framework for understanding and interpreting environmental crises more globally. This is an essential text for examining communication strategies around dwindling natural resources, like water.”

    – Gina M. MasulloAssociate Professor, School of Journalism and Media & Associate Director, Center for Media Engagement, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX USA


    “The book brings grave issues of water crises faced worldwide to the academic discourse. The environmental communication and civil society perspectives that it offers in analysing the environmental problems, particularly water-related ones in remote areas of India, makes the text contextual and relevant for communication studies and also for social sciences.”

    –  Prof. Brij Kishore KuthialaChairperson, Haryana State Higher Education Council, Panchkula, India


    ​“This work by Ram Awtar Yadav and Kanchan K. Malik on viewing Environmental Communication and Water Management in India from the prism of Civil Society is a welcome addition to the available literature on the broader theme. Adopting a case-study-based ethnographic approach, the study makes an important contribution to understanding a very complex theme. Approaching the water management challenges from the perspective of the efforts of non-governmental agencies who have involved local communities is truly a critical contribution. A must-read for all those working in the domain of Communication, Water Management and Civil Society, the work has successfully attempted a seamless integration of ideas and concerns.”  

    – Sandeep ShastriVice Chancellor, Jagran Lakecity University, Bhopal, and Professor of Political Science.