Hygiene and sanitation are the two most important factors which govern the health of a society. India, among one of the developing country, has an acute shortage of proper toilets, along with terrible sanitation conditions. Though people step into the urban world from rural areas in search of a better life, they still lack the basic etiquettes of toileting. The concept of making a toilet outside the house is still prevalent and in many instances, a toilet is considered to be one of the most pathetic places of the house.
As per records, 4.5 million people do not have access to proper sanitation facilities. This is a situation to worry about since it is also contributing to the increasing pollution. Also, each year the number of deaths due to lack of hygiene is on the rise.
The Indian style toilet can be quite painful owing to its design. Since it requires squatting, in the long run, it affects the joints of the knees along with the back. Squatting requires pressure and this leads to problems among people especially the elderly.
To overcome this problem, 26-year-old Satyajit designed an easier version of the Indian style toilet. He calls it ‘SquatEase’ and is the first of its kind unidirectional toilet. It is designed in such a manner that the footrest is elevated at an angle making it easier for the user to squat easily without added pressure.
How did he come up with the thought behind the idea
He came up with the idea of redesigning the footrest during a course. He had attended a course at Special Needs under the Swachh Bharat campaign. At that time he was working on designing an exclusive toilet for women. But during the research, he opted to rather redesign the existing toilet seat with the unidirectional footrest.
During his research, he found that people mostly squat on their toes with heels hanging in the air. He further discussed this pattern and its consequences with physiotherapists. After thorough research, he designed the footrest.
The addition of the footrest was aimed at providing relief to the toe squatters. Problems like pain in the knees, back and ankle along with the fear of falling due to disbalance have all been banished. SquatEase comes with a very reliable design which helps to maintain the centre of gravity. This model is quite scalable and comes with great potential to be commercially viable.
Since its invention, 6,000 units of SquatEase have been sold and Satyajit plans to sell another 5,000 by the mid-year 2019. It comes at an affordable price of Rs. 999/-
For this invention, Satyajit has been awarded the Swachh Innovation 2018 by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. He also got a tender for installing 5,000 SqutEase toilet seats at Prayagraj Kumbh. Other than this, SquatEase also received the Nidhi Prays Grant 2017. It has another award in its kitty, that being the iF Public Value Student Award 2016.
Necessity is the mother of innovation. We face a lot of challenges in our daily lives and want others to solve our problems. We need to convert all these problems into opportunities and solve them according to our needs through innovation. We are not less than anyone. No one can stop us from solving our problems and achieving our dreams.
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