A District Councillor staged a “dharna” (sit in) to get villagers to construct toilets in their homes.
Kurubarahatty, a village with a population of 5,000 on the outskirts of Chitradurga in Karnataka, has been selected for the ‘Nirmala Grama Pursakar’ rural sanitation scheme. Zilla Panchayat (district) officials visited the village on several occasions to convince people to construct toilets under the scheme.
While a few responded, some continued to defecate in open fields. Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Range Gowda along with other officials visited Kurubarahatty on Saturday to enlighten villagers on the scheme. The beneficiaries will get Rs 4,400 [US$ 94] for the purpose.
Even as the CEO emphasised on the need for toilets, Onkarappa, a resident, refused to construct one for his house and instead demanded water supply, drainage facility and better roads on priority basis.
The CEO’s explanation that there was no water scarcity in the village failed to convince him.
A miffed CEO sat on a dharna saying that he won’t budge unless the family agreed to construct the toilet. And the effort yielded result. Onkarappa buckled and even the work began at the very moment.
Speaking to reporters Rangegowda regretted that even educated women in the village were opposing construction of toilets. He said dharna was inevitable for successful time-bound implementation of the scheme.
Source: Deccan Herald, 10 Jul 2010