Karnataka: Couple Forced To Live In Relative's Toilet For A Year As Govt Released Only Rs 1 For Their New Home
Obalappa, 55, and Lakshminarasamma, 45 are landless farmhands and for over a year now, they have been living inside a relative’s toilet. Over a year and a half ago, they were granted an Indira House under the BR Ambedkar Niwas Yojana by the gram panchayat of Kadapalakere village in Pavagada taluk. As their house was in a dilapidated condition, The Hindu reports that they were asked to demolish the house and lay the foundation for a new one.
After reports highlighted the condition of the elderly duo, a team of taluk-level officials including the Taluk Panchayat Executive Officer (EO) Narasimhamurthy and Tahsildar Varadaraju visited them and reportedly, assured help. They tried to convince the couple to move out of the toilet as it is made for another beneficiary. The duo was then advised to shift to a verandah of their relative’s house and was promised that a door will be fixed for them in the verandah for safety purposes.
In debt and nowhere to stay
The Rs 1.64 lakh for the construction of the new house was going to be released in a phased manner in three different parts. After GPS confirming that the foundation for the new house was already done, the money was supposed to be released. Till date, they have received a payment of Rs 1.
The couple who belong to the Kodugolla community and fall under below poverty line (BPL) status was thrilled at the idea of the new house and borrowed money from friends to construct the foundation for a new one. They borrowed some money from their son and other lenders and laid the foundation of the new house. With the hope that the government would release the money soon, they spend Rs 45,000, said Naveen, a relative, to The New Indian Express.
Panchayat Development Officer Kishore Naik admitted that except the Rs 1, which was released three months ago, no amount has been given to them so far. “The house was granted under the Ambedkar Awas Yojna and there was a technical problem. Now we have reported it to the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation Limited (RGRHCL),” he said.
Lakshminarasamma said that it is difficult for her as she also has to take care of her ailing husband. Their son, a fruit vendor in Bengaluru, helps them out with some money regularly.
In debt and without a shelter, they shifted to a relative’s toilet which was built under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan scheme. Obalappa said “It is like living in a hell in this 4 ft. by 4 ft. bathroom. I am sick and I cannot sleep here properly.”
They place a wooden board over the commode to sleep. Recently, their younger son passed away. They have a debt in the village. They want to leave the village and move to Bengaluru with their elder son, but they cannot until and unless the debt is paid.
The Taluk Panchayat Executive Officer (EO), Narasimhamurthy said that the GPS image of the laid foundation has already been sent to the authorities and the funds would be released soon.
The Logical Indian sympathises with the couple and hopes that the government releases the fund for their house. They are living under debt and right now, are homeless.