No facilities still for SC/ST houses here

The thatched roof house of Janaki at Kaikara under Olamogru Gram Panchayat limits.

The world of Sheenappa K, Mayilu and Akkani, at Kaikara in Olamogru Gram Panchayat in Puttur is full of sweat, pain, hardship and without any basic facilities including toilets.

The outside world seldom hears the cries of these people who belong to the lower strata of the society.

Living in the one-room thatched roof hut covered with plastic sheet to prevent rainwater from seeping in, Sheenappa, his brother Diwakar and mother Janaki have been waiting for the facilities from government.

The house is devoid of basic facilities like toilet, bathroom, water connection and even electricity.

Diwakar suffers from deformity in right hand but has never received any disability pension till now. The family does not have ration card, voters identity card, Aadhaar and have been living at Kaikara for over seven decades now.

As they do not have records for the land, the authorities too did not take any initiative in providing them with basic facilities.

65 year-old Mayilu’s mud house with tile roof built on his 52 cents of land, has no toilet, water connections and electricity as well.

Mayilu’s son Guruva said, “When my mother and I were ailing and bedridden, the electricity connection provided to us under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) was disconnected by removing the fuse. We had seen the ‘light’ emanating from a bulb only for a month.”

Akkani, a lone ST woman, who is living in a mud house with asbestos sheet roof has 67 cents of land. Unfortunately, even her hut lacks toilet and electricity connection. Her house is surrounded by grass and weeds. There is no proper road path to reach the house as well. Though she has a ration card, her card was blocked for failing to give thumb impression at the fair price shop. Though poor, the food grains under PDS remains a mirage for her.

This is the tale of SC/ST community members in Olamogru gram panchayat, who have been living in pathetic condition.

Though Dakshina Kannada district is declared as ODF (Open Defecation Free) district in 2015, Olamogru gram panchayat, which comes under Panaje Zilla Panchayat constituency and represented by Zilla Panchayat president Meenakshi Shanthigodu, has 32 toiletless houses.

On account of World Toilet Day on Monday, the Olamogru Gram Panchayat has taken up a special drive to construct toilets in the house of Sheenappa through ‘Shramadaan.’ The toilet was ready by evening.

Gram Panchayat president Yathiraj Rai Neerpadi and Panchayat Development Officer Geetha said, “We will organise at least one programme on sanitation in the village in a month and strive to make the Gram panchayat free of open defecation.”

He said those who have constructed houses on government land and do not have documents do not get any financial assistance for the construction of toilets.

“We will construct toilets through Shramadaan by raising fund from donors. Of the 32 houses without toilets, 13 houses will get financial assistance under Swaccha Bharath Mission for and 10 will be constructed through gram panchayat fund. Toilets for four houses that do not have any documents will be constructed first by raising funds from donors through Shramadaan.”

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No facilities still for SC/ST houses here

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