Attempting to assuage this reluctance by women to use public toilets, a Delhi-based start up has now introduced something they call "PeeBuddy", to assist women to stand up and urinate.
"Loos in India are a nightmare for women as they are unclean and the chances of contracting infectious diseases are high. So, we launched the 'PeeBuddy' which is India's first portable urine director which can be kept in a bag like any other accessory," Deep Bajaj, partner First Step Projects said.
Bajaj was a participant at a roundtable conference on sanitation organised by the Indian Institute of Technology and UNICEF here last evening.
Launched in December last year, the product claims to provide women "the freedom to stand and pee anywhere" like public toilets in malls, airports, hospitals, highways, railway stations or even those in metros.
Fashioned out of waterproof coated paper, the use-and- throw product is shaped as a funnel and conveniently designed to be folded in half and can even fit inside a small purse.
The product, available in packs of 5, 10 and 20 and priced at Rs 120, Rs 200 and Rs 350 respectively is being sold on various portals like Snapdeal, Healthkart and First Cry.
PeeBuddy has been launched to assist women to stand up and urinate.
The target users, said Bajaj, are women who travel for work or leisure, those with medical conditions like arthritis and joint pains, women who are pregnant and generally those who want freedom from dirty public toilets.
"The product is the need of the hour and we need community conscious, forward thinking organisations to help us reach out to every corner in India," Bajaj said.
"One of the main thought process behind launching such a product was to give freedom to women from painful urinary tract infections which cause maximum number of visits to the doctors and a strong course of antibiotics follow," Bajaj said.
He pointed out that such products already existed in the international market. "While in those markets they encourage people to reuse the product we have launched a one time use and throw product to cater to the Indian mindset," Bajaj said.
The company is now trying to tie up with various corporates to subsidise the cost of the product and make it readily available in the market like sanitary napkins.
"We are in talks with corporates so that they can be a partner in the production of the product. NGOs can also help in circulating the product in both rural and urban areas.
"Women in armed forces can also reap the benefits of this product and we have recently approached the defence ministry and are in talks with them," Bajaj said.