After two years of living in toilet, family hopes for better days

The family that has been staying in the public toilet in Arkalgud, Hassan.

The family that has been staying in the public toilet in Arkalgud, Hassan.  

A Dalit family of seven members, which had come to Arkalgud town in search of livelihood, has been living in a public toilet in Hassan for the past two years.

Ramesh, 50, was born into a family of nine children. His parents’ house was sold years ago in order to care for the children. “We had nothing in Gangavati. Twenty years ago, I left my place in search of livelihood. I stayed in different places and three years ago, I reached Arkalgud,” Mr. Ramesh said. He takes up cleaning and construction work, earning around ₹3,000 a month — an amount insufficient to feed his big family.

“I used to stay with my wife, Lalitha, and young children in makeshift tents by the road. Then I was introduced to the people constructing the public toilet. They wanted someone to look after the work. I noticed that it would be a right place to stay put. For the past two years, we have been here,” he said. Of his five children, the youngest is one and a half months old.

When a section of the media reported his story on Sunday, residents of Arkalgud and a few people’s representatives extended a helping hand. The latter showed him a government site to build a house, even as the business community contributed poles, sheets and other materials required for construction. “I am glad so many have responded to my plight. They came to me and wanted to know how they could help my family. We may soon have a small house with the help of the locals,” Mr. Ramesh said.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 10:37:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/after-two-years-of-living-in-toilet-family-hopes-for-better-days/article18962038.ece

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