Mobile Sh’E’-toilet hits Hyderabad roads making urban sanitation safer for women

Isn’t it surprising that not many women are found participating in e-commerce delivery, or in the low-end restaurant outlets? Well, we might have ignored it considering it might not be a convenient job opportunity for women. However, have you wondered about the reason underlying the inconvenience?

National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) Data suggests that urban women’s employment is at 14.7%. This is relatively lower than its rural counterpart which stands at 24.8%. While we are busy struggling with debates on employment opportunities, education, class, income, etc sanitation is something which we ignore. 

Sushma Kallempudi is a boon to the age-old sanitation issues faced by women in public places. The eco-friendly mobile toilets have hit the roads of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) making toilet access easier to women. As the engineering graduate was getting the project ready, she said, “The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has responded positively and I am confident to get thumbs-up.”

 The story behind Mobile Sh’E’ Toilet

Swachch Bharat Mission aimed at ensuring proper sanitation facilities in the country. Many states successfully adopted measures and guidelines provided to ensure proper facilities in the region. However, hygienic sanitation remains a major issue in India. Especially, the women of the rural and the urban areas face serious problems in finding toilets as they are traveling from one place to another.

While statistics show that there has been a massive improvement in this sector, real-time field visits narrates a different story. Sushma Kallempudi faced a similar situation while visiting Hyderabad. Like any other women, she and her family were hesitant in using the public toilets as they lacked the much-needed maintenance and hygiene. This instilled in her the sheer interest of researching technologies that can be used to create a clean mobile toilet. 

The urban sanitation program popularly known as SBM-U lacks the provision of gender sensitized, and sanitized toilet facilities in workspaces and public places. Lack of budget allocation and gender insensitive program design in urban areas has deteriorated the sanitation facilities in the cities.

Besides, health issues are obvious effects as women strive to reach out for a clean public toilet. Prolonged use of the same sanitary napkins, cause vaginal infection and Urinary Tract infections are common due to diseased dirty toilets or lack of it. 3% to 24% of urban women are reported to have UTI’s as either they avoid using public toilets or due to the unhygienic nature of them.

The sufferings of women for a perfectly equipped toilet while on move in India are a regular affair. If you even manage to hunt out a public toilet, it is not hygienic enough for use. Improper sanitation poses a great number of health risks which can turn out to be detrimental. The women of our society are more prone to these diseases as the public toilets lack proper infrastructure for menstrual hygiene and cleanliness. Sushma, on returning from the USA thought of giving the country a technology-driven public toilet project: mobile Sh’E’-toilet. She is collaborating with the University of West England and NGO’s around the globe to help assist her with technological support for the venture. “We designed the mobile toilet on e-auto to curb pollution caused by traditional diesel and petrol vehicles. So, we named it Sh’E’ Toilet,” said Sushma.

The idea behind this project

Jalagam Associate, a start-up social enterprise from the rural side of Suryapet district in the state of Telangana came up with this unique venture. The idea is not only to provide clean sanitation while on road but also address the issue of increasing pollution in the cities and towns. 

This mobile toilet visions to be driven on a pollution-free auto which is suitable for single use. They can be driven and placed by the crowded streets, owing to its compact size. The cleanliness of this toilet can be single-handedly maintained by a woman. Maintaining this portable toilet is super easy. Any sewage facility can be used to clean up the septic tank and water can be refilled similarly from any public water sources around the city.

What’s more? Not only is it a boon to all the ladies out on the streets on business, but it can be a source of employment for the women. This organization proposes government subsidies such that this mobile toilet becomes an easy catch for those who seek to earn by providing sanitation facilities.

The uniqueness in the idea of Sh’E’-toilet

While you might easily think that it is just the old wine in a new bottle, the innovation lies in its implementation. Mobile Sh’E’-toilet comes with features that makes it unique from the public toilets for women. The swift portability makes it easy to carry to the sewer tanks for cleaning and to the water sources for a refill of water. 

The compact size is perfect to carry out on the road and make it serviceable to the community. Besides, we cannot miss out on the eco-friendly feature of this endeavor. The auto is non-polluting making it a perfect blend of health and hygiene in a nutshell.

These are some amazing features which are a part of this contemporary mobile toilet:

  • Battery Pack: 70 Ah 48 Volts Lion      
  • Motors: 1200 Watt 48 Volts        
  • Speed: 25 kmph    
  • Material: MS, ACP and Stainless steel,

    Components: 
  • Commode with flush (1 No.),     
  • Wash Basin (1 No.),         
  • Drain System with 100 Litres capacity tank (1 Unit),       
  • Water Storage with 100 Litres capacity tank (1 Unit),       
  • Exhaust System (1 Unit),        
  • Mirror (1 No)      
  • Hanger (1 No)

Besides all these features which are incorporated, the company aims at adding additional components to ensure a complete sanitation package for women on the go! The following are the perks that they propose to incorporate within the Sh’E’-toilet:

  • GPS tracking 
  • Sanitary Napkin dispenser
  • Diaper changing station
  • Power charging station
  • Sales counter (magazines/accessories etc related to ladies)
  • Feedback form 
  • Panic Button 
  • Vacuum flush technology 

This initiative is planned to launch in phases. In the initial phases, there is the installation of vacuum flush as used in airplanes which aims at reduction in water usage. The second phase aims at the generation of electricity from the urinals while using solid waste as fertilizer. 

The future ahead

This project is an initiative to contribute to the wellness of women in the country. They have looked into hygiene which has been neglected for years and led to serious ailments. The mobile toilets for women are sure to be beneficial for all the women who suffer to find a clean washroom out on the road. 

Urban India today has imperfect, missing, rotting, and unhygienic framework that doesn’t bolster working women. In the event that women are to wander out in the working environment, and exploit the employment boom in sectorss, for example, e-commerce where oppurtunities unquestionably exist however can’t be used, the benevolent Toilet Missions should be moved up to observing for hygiene and gender based sensitive sanitization. The mass structure approach should be supplanted with a nuanced and user-friendly – particularly women-friendly– approach.

Sh-’E’ toilets are a stepping stone towards improved women-focussed sanitation in India. This organization again reminds us of the need of the hour. Health and sanitation are a major concern for India, and this step is sure to bring in relief to the numerous working women who need to travel. Besides, they not only catered to the hygiene needs but also ensured that it is carried in an eco-friendly manner. The views to manufacture green energy from the by-products also significantly contribute to environmental conservation. It is our prime importance that we support this endeavor for a cleaner, greener, and healthy India!

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