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Why This Lower Caste Family Has Been Living in a Toilet for Four Years

In Mahabubnagar, a family of four from a lower caste have been living in a toilet for close to four years now.

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Video Input: A Surya Reddy
Video Producer: Naman Shah

Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam

In Tirumalagiri village of Telangana's Mahabubnagar, a family of four from a lower caste have been living in a toilet for close to four years now.

Sujatha, 30, a daily wage labourer, along with her two children and mother-in-law are forced to live in the tiny government-built toilet, after their home collapsed in a heavy downpour.

Sujatha's husband passed away three years before their house went down. The family then stayed in a local community hall for some time but they were asked to move out from there soon after. Following this, the family had no other option but to make the drastic move.

"Neither the sarpanch nor collector or any government official came forward to help us."
Sujatha, 30, Daily wage labourer, Mahabubnagar

The family have placed a slab over the Indian-style commode and placed a stove over it to cook food.

The family has weathered all types of weather inside the tiny structure.

“The kids sleep inside and my mother-in-law and I sleep outside. I can't sleep on days when it rains," said Sujatha.

The rainy seasons bring more threats as they have to encounter poisonous snakes as well.

The villagers echo Sujatha's claim of the authorities' apathy towards their inhuman condition.

"Sarpanch, MP, MLA, no government authorities came to help. Their situation is pathetic and we feel bad seeing them living like this."
Nenavath Mohan Naik, Sujatha's neighbour
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Sujatha says that her family needs a 2-bedroom flat which the TRS government had promised to economically weaker families as a poll promise before the 2014 state elections.

Following outrage, sarparch Kesili has said the panchayat will build a proper house for Sujatha's family next to the toilet.

"The panchayat has decided to construct a house for her. And will do it as soon as possible. We thought about it earlier too, but the issue got delayed due to the pandemic."
Kesili, Sarpanch, Tirumalagiri

V Srinivas Goud, Mahabubnagar MLA and Telangana minister tweeted an 'update' on Sujatha's house

The district collector Venkata Rao, however, claimed that the family was offered compensation but they did not get their house repaired.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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