New Delhi, Feb 26: Here comes an innovation that can do wonders for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan - disposable squat seats by Canadian entrepreneur Nofel Izz.
The idea is to improve sanitisation with a hygienic and affordable apparatus, and Izz, who will visit India shortly, hopes he can interest the current cleaning campaigns in India to include the product.
"My visits to rural villages in South Asia have made me realise that innovation is great if only it were affordable to everyone. In the past, I had set my focus on people's survival and not on an accessory to live by, but this product will become a revolution of change within these areas, where children and families can enjoy the facility of sanitised toilets," Izz said in a statement.
The 'seats' come in small sachets that can expand to and from the area required for squatters to use, which can thereafter be folded and sealed for sanitation.
The manufacturing cost for the innovation would be less than a cup of coffee, according Izz, who is also a singer.
The refills for the squat toilet seat would cost approximately $0.25 or Rs.15 initially, until it's further reduced to $0.10, depending on the number of units manufactured.
The apparatus that individuals can squat on is sealable and biodegradable. With its fluorescent appearance, one can spot it easily for collection and it is visible for use in absolute darkness.
This portable toilet would also provide dignity, security and privacy for women and children who travel distances to public toilets or secluded areas feeling unsafe at certain hours.
Currently, Izz is on the outlook for an NGO, who will join hands with him in distributing this apparatus to the right households. He would also be using crowdfunding websites to raise capital and see this project through.
"The youth today and the internet are all game changers. In time, I will be setting up an interactive page online where people can sponsor regions via a map and can spread the word via social media too, but the most important way to utilise this invention completely and to make sure every family in need is getting one free of cost, would be through government funding and awareness campaigns," he added.
After manufacturing it in China, Izz, who's also a singer, will be in talks with local manufacturing companies in various regions to produce this invention, as it would make it further cost friendly with easy distribution.
The materials used are low cost biodegradable plastic and cardboards. The durable cabana is made up of sturdy plastic and has a metal wiring that can fold into an '8' shape to discreetly carry. The top of the cabana has protection from the sun and rain and can be used for additional privacy.