Hindustan Times (Delhi)
Mission hygiene: Arts student designs public toilets using water bottles and waste plastic pipes
NEW DELHI: In a city where access to a safe public toilet is a major safety issue, a student has come up with a cost-effective way of setting up public urinals.
Ashwani Aggarwal, 22, the founder of a public initiative called — basic shit, has designed a public urinal out of nothing but bisleri cans and a few plastic pipes. This urinal is working near south Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital. Not only cheap, these toilets, according to Aggarwal, can be installed anywhere— they can run attached to a tree or a pole.
“In my final year I did a project on sanitation problems in the city and after thorough research I came to the conclusion that many people urinate in public places because of the lack of hygienic public urinals. So, I decided to do whatever I could to solve the problem and came up with a design which is cheap and can be easily maintained,” said Aggarwal, student of College of Arts.
Asked how he managed funds for the project, Aggarwal said, “The entire project was crowd funded and the local shopkeepers and residents’ welfare associations helped me get required approvals.”
He also employed local slum dwellers, who are paid on a monthly basis, to clean the urinal. Similar urinals would soon be seen at 20 different spots across Delhi, including at INA market, South Extension, Sarojini Nagar and Dhaula Kuan.
In many places which do not have the space for setting up proper urinals, Aggarwal plans to attach a urinal unit to a tree or a wooden pole.
“These are extremely convenient and well maintained and more of such urinals should be constructed across the city. Government should encourage such artists to channelise their creativity in projects like these,” said Raj Chawla, president of INA residents’ welfare association.
But in what he claims to be his most innovative design, Aggarwal has made a model where women can stand and urinate. He explained that most women don’t like to use public toilets because they are not maintained. “Many women I meet complain that they do not prefer to sit on the commodes. In my model, they won’t have to worry about sitting at all,” he said.
The first model of these women’s urinals will come up in Dhaula Kuan by August and to ensure security of women the urinal will be installed adjacent to the police station.
“For women’s urinals hygiene is a major issue. To address this problem, a layer of water resistent liquid will be sprayed on the urinals which will ensure that they do not stay wet,” Aggarwal said.
SIMILAR URINALS WOULD SOON BE SEEN AT 20 DIFFERENT SPOTS ACROSS DELHI, INCLUDING AT INA, SOUTH EXTENSION, ETC