Summary: Despite government ‘Yojanas’ homeless Odia tribal family forced to take shelter in a toilet. The families are devoid of basic amenities like drinking water and have to turn to nullahs.

The deteriorated condition of tribal families is not unfamiliar, but it has stooped down to a level that they have to take shelter in a toilet. In the absence of a pucca house, Daktar Naik, a homeless tribal in Bhuyansahi of Ichinda village of Keonjhar district has been living inside a toilet which was built by state-run Odisha Mining Corporation, under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

The family lives under tattered polythenes or took shelter in abandoned houses. It was rainy season that they were forced to turn to a toilet for shelter. In photographs, Naik is seen sitting at the toilet gate while in the second his daughter sleeps next to the toilet pan. Talking to leading daily, Naik shares that from past few months he has been sleeping in the toilet. His wife cooks outside and they use the nearby forest for defecation.

There are forty families of the village who belong to Below Poverty Line are deprived of houses, that they were supposed to get under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana or its earlier version of Indira Awas Yojana.

The villagers are enforced to breathe polluted air and drink polluted water because of mining operations. Even the basic drinking water dwells from nullahs. Even The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015 for the development of the tribals in mineral-bearing areas have not been able to improve their lot.

According to The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015, along with regularizing mining auction the act also aims to develop the backward areas of the country through mining projects and bring those areas into the mainstream society.