Kannada protagonist Vatal Nagaraj, who has been a crusader for public toilets, sent out a loud message to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah that he was disappointed over the poor allocation in the budget for construction of individual, community and public toilets.
The budget proposed allocations for toilets at a cost of Rs.15, 000 for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe families. Apart from that, it promised construction of toilets in 6 lakh houses in rural areas under the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan.
However Mr. Nagaraj used his drums to express his frustration at the allocations for public toilets. “The Chief Minister has introduced various welfare schemes in the education, health, agriculture sectors, which is likely to give them a boost. But it is disappointing to see that there is not much emphasis is given to improve the sanitation in the State,” Mr. Nagaraj added.
“We can eat rice at Re 1, but where will we relieve ourselves?” he said in the high-pitched voice.
Stating that good sanitation was linked to good health, Mr. Nagaraj said that there was a need to ensure that more toilets in rural areas. “Even today, several women relieve themselves either early in the morning or late in the evening as there are no toilets in the households. There is a need to build toilets in such areas to protect the dignity of these women.”
Mocking at the situation in the State capital, he said that while there was so much emphasis given to the ‘development’ of infrastructure of the city, little was being done about building public toilets.