Odisha, May 18, 2019 : A Dalit man in Odisha’s Kendrapara district has been living in a toilet along with his spouse and two grown up daughters after Cyclone Fani razed his kutcha house to ground, an official said, NDTV reported.
Khirod Jena, the Dalit man, who is also a landless daily wage earner, in Raghudeipur village was allotted the 7 feet x 6 feet toilet under the Centre’s flagship programme Swachh Bharat Mission.
Cyclone Fani had hit the Kendrapara district on May 3.
"The cyclone destroyed my house. But the pucca toilet was saved. I have nowhere to go. The toilet allotted to me two days back has become by shelter house. I do not know how long we will be staying here," said the 58-year-old Dalit man, who has been rendered homeless.
Stating that the cyclone has completely shattered his life, Mr Jena said he has no resources to rebuild the house and is left with no other option but to wait for cyclone restoration grants to rebuild his house.
"Till officials award me cyclone damage compensation, the toilet will continue to be my house. With toilet being occupied, we are forced to defecate in open now," he said.
"I had applied for housing grant either under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) or under Biju Pucca Ghar Scheme. But the housing grants had eluded me. The cyclone would have spared my house if my kutcha house would have taken the form of pucca dwelling unit with government assistance. But that was not to be," he bemoaned.
"It has been brought to our notice that a family has been living in a toilet in Derabish block after cyclone ravaged their house. Cyclone damage grants besides separate housing grants are being awarded to the family expeditious," said Project Director, District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), Dillip Kumar Parida.