About 66 million people across 19 states in India are estimated to be affected by fluoride contamination in drinking water. Despite three decades of substantial mitigation efforts, absence of public forums for knowledge sharing and lack of scalable field pilots have remained deterrents. This deep-rooted and trans-disciplinary developmental problem requires a long-term, multi-pronged strategy for successful mitigation.
Addressing the root-causes of the contamination issue, a knowledge and action network coupled with action research projects have been conceptualized for fluoride. Existing communities of practice on fluoride will be tapped to build the network that will widen its reach to include larger audiences. The network is aimed at identifying and resolving research and implementation gaps in fluoride through knowledge sharing, small-scale research and innovations at the field level. Broad frameworks will be constructed for mitigating fluorosis and tested at the field level, supported by development of scalable models to aid their mainstreaming.
The network will be centrally anchored by a Secretariat and surrounded by a core executive committee which will consist of subject experts and others relevant to the topic. They will be supported by a governing body to provide strategic guidance to the network and aid decision making. The network will be further aided and propelled by an expanded constituency of engaged audiences and groups such as NGOs, research institutions, donors, media, industry and common citizens. Being the first-of-its-kind, the network architecture will be flexible and open to improvisation.
INREM Foundation is a research institution probing societal issues concerning water, public health, agriculture and the environment. The institution develops innovative inter-disciplinary solutions and brings them into the wider domain of practice by participating with communities and government. INREM over the years has evolved its strength into a wide range of activities which are helpful in achieving its aim of bringing research-based solutions into the wider domain of practice.