Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Ambar Basu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mahuya Pal, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Patrice Buzzanell, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Heather Zoller, Ph.D.


culture-centered approach, health communication, necrocapitalism, organizational communication, water insecurity


As a discursive point of praxis, this dissertation project seeks to record knowledge from below around the overlaps between health, water and health interventions emerging from rural communities located in North 24 Parganas and Purulia in West Bengal that are disproportionately impacted by water-insecurity. My dissertation also documents how multiple-stakeholders such as local NGOs, international NGOs, non-profits, and donor agencies organize access to safe water and health interventions for the water-insecure communities located in North 24 Parganas and Purulia. The integration of the CCA and necrocapitalism afford theoretical and methodological guidance in this dissertation to help document the localocentric stories emerging from the subaltern communities impacted by water-insecurity. By centering the stories that are often decentered from mainstream knowledge making spaces, the goal of this research project is that the local narrated lived experiences, as interpreted and recorded in this dissertation, might inform the organizing of future health interventions designed and developed for similarly marginalized communities. For my dissertation, I conducted a seven-week field study in West Bengal and employed various ethnographic research methods, including in-depth interviews, group interviews, focus group discussions, participant observation, field notes (including photographs) and reflexive journaling to collect data. Though the critical thematic analysis of the data that emerged from my fieldwork, I learn how research participants with minoritized caste and low-income backgrounds routinely challenge, disrupt, and re-organize the dominant frames of health, water, and health interventions as articulated by global local organizational actors (such as local NGOs, international NGOs, non-profits). Additionally, the narratives emerging from subaltern spaces made visible how community members residing in water insecure areas configure structural solutions and navigate and negotiate the social, cultural, and institutional structures at individual and community level. By centering marginalized voices from Global South, this dissertation contributes to the larger goal of promoting social justice and equity around health and water by challenging dominant narratives circulated by local and global organizational actors and de-westernizing research, policy, and practice.