The HD Kumaraswamy-led government in Karnataka had earlier declared that the rural areas in the state were open defecation free (ODF). Karnataka was also declared as the 26th ODF state in India.
The state has 23 districts with 26,533 villages and 5,888 gram panchayats that were claimed ODF. According to the gram panchayat records of Sherawad, a small village of Dharwad district, 230 houses out of 1,012 houses still lack toilets.
"Earlier statistics showed that only half or one-third of the rural households had individual toilets, but presently, all the 70.2 lakh rural households in Karnataka have been provided with individual toilets, thereby reducing open defecation," Kumaraswamy had said on the occasion of World Toilet Day on November 19.
The harsh reality of the state is that many villages in rural areas still lack basic necessities.
The people of the state also have different opinions on open defecation. While the elders think of it as a part of their life which they have been following for centuries, the youth finds it enjoying. Going together in a group and defecating in the farmlands is kind of a sport for them.
Even the farmers don't mind this, as the excrements turn to be a good compost and eco-friendly fertilisers.
The state under Swachh Bharat mission had approved of pit toilets that were built in the rural areas to achieve the ODF tag. But, even this was in vain as the pit toilets caused blockage in many areas and had no proper water facility, it was quickly abandoned by the villagers and was used for storing other agricultural materials or were simply locked down.
Many of the people prefer defecating or urinating in the open as most of the toilets available are filthy and unhealthy to use. Out of ten toilets build under the mission, nearly six of them doesn't work properly due to water problems making them unusable, a government survey found.
A survey conducted in Bengaluru last year by a non-profit organisation, Janaagraha, had found that the city was short by 1,100 public toilet complexes and of those that exist are unhealthy and cleaned rarely. Most of them stink and doesn't have doors or proper water system. Apparently, only 10 per cent of public toilets for men and six per cent of them for women have flushes that work.