Rajbiraj, December 27
The campaign to declare Saptari an open defecation free district within 2017 is under way. However, thousands of landless families are facing a problem to meet the campaign’s goal as they do not have land of their own.
Rina Sada and Bitawadevi Das of Rajbiraj Municiplaity-5 were lucky to have managed a piece of land for building their latrines. Their neighbour offered to give the two squatters the land on condition that it would be used to build toilets.
But the problem continues for thousand of Dom families in the locality.
A survey conducted some years ago shows that 36,000 families are landless in the district. They are living in huts built on the roadside and public land. Pritam Marik, a squatter of Malekpur in Belhi Chapena Rural Municiplaity-5 said they were under pressure to construct their toilets. “We have no land of our own. If we build our toilet on the roadside, it may be demolished one day”, he said. There are 10 families residing in public land on the side of the Postal Highway in Saptari. They have failed to build toilets as they are landless.
A version of this article appears in print on December 28, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.