This Delhi Entrepreneur Is Turning Thousands Of Plastic Bottles Into Toilets; Support His Initiative

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Everyday India produces 25,940 tonnes of single-use plastic waste which clogs our drains, rivers, canals and oceans. It takes over 400 years for a single-use plastic to decompose. But the question is, what can we do about it?

The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan which targeted open defecation in especially in rural areas was Modi government’s one of the first flagship schemes. Several public toilets were constructed under the scheme. However, even today cities like Delhi lack the adequate number of public urinals and toilets.

In 2014, Ashwani established BasicShit to solve sanitation problems by creating innovative public urinals across cities and implemented projects for cleaning and greening urban areas through research-driven innovative solutions. Support the initiative here

BasicShit

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

BasicShit has come up with an eco-friendly ’PeePee’ public toilet made out single-use plastic which is thrown away as garbage. Each PeePee toilet can eliminate more than 9000 single-use plastic bottles from ending up in our water bodies. These toilets require no water to clean and are smell free. Ashwani, the founder of BasicShit came up with this idea after studying various aspects of public urination around the country.  He has authored several research papers and case studies on how public urination affects public health in urban areas. 

Till now Ashwani tried and tested multiple urinal designs across the country out of which 30 – 40 units still working. He spent his own money on research and development and also he received a grant received from Asian Development Bank. 

PeePee urinals from recycled plastic waste

 

As per the latest data from Swachh Survekshan 2019, Delhi has just 3000 public toilets for men and 30 for females for a population of 18.6 million. 

Public sanitation problems in urban areas are constantly undermined especially when it comes to public urination. Due to the lack of proper public urinal and sanitation facilities, peeing in public has become a habit. 

In many places, though urinals are present they are not easily accessible and wherever present, they aren’t properly maintained; leaving the public with no choice. He as a warrior against the public urination menace; strongly felt the need to work towards solving this problem and create a street urinal which takes less space, uses less or no water, is odour free and can be installed quickly. 

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After refining his urinal designs he came up with PeePee toilet. The total cost to construct one unit of this toilet is Rs 12,000. The complete structure of the PeePee toilet is made from recycled single-use plastic material collected from streets. The toilet can be assembled and installed on-site in 2 hours. As it requires no sewage connection, urine is collected in drums, recycled and used for agriculture purposes.

PeePee urinals will be installed across Delhi and will be accessible at every 10 minutes walking distance.

Here are some features of PeePee urinal design for males

The setup of PeePee urinals offers an eco-friendly way to dispose of urine which reduces the load on the public sanitary infrastructure. These urinals are connected to Pee-Cartridge which process the fresh urine to extract urea which acts as a very good fertilizer. This process helps reduce the urea and ammonia effluents in the nearby water bodies, thus helping preserve aquatic wildlife and natural resources.

BasicShit

The toilets are free to use for all users. It is an on-site urinal system for males and uses reflective signage for easy visibility at night for people travelling on roads and streets.    

As part of the initiative, BasicShit has already set up toilets in various localities to let the citizens know about usability patterns and the success rate of those toilets.

  • Self Sustainable Toilet Design.
  • Odourless urinal, clean & hygienic.
  • No Sewer required
  • No water required
  • Not using a chemical to clean the toilet.
  • Free to use
  • Easy to installed

How does PeePee urinal convert urine to fertilizer 

Human urine is first collected in two Pee-Carriage. Each Pee-Carriage have a capacity to hold 200 litres of urine. Each day on average 150 litres of urine is collected from each PeePee unit in one day. The collected urine is stabilised and purified with activated carbon which safely eliminates all pharmaceuticals and hormones. 

BasicShit

BasicShit

Then the distiller eliminates all pathogens and reduces the liquid volume by 50 per cent. The last stage produces water and fertiliser for the plants.

Location survey and identifying spot through BasicShit app 

  1. You can tell exactly where you want the toilets to be installed, or
  2. BasicShit can do a survey and identify local spots for toilets using our state of the art BasicShit App, which marks physical spots using GPS and helps identify best open urination hotspots.
  3. Full design and installation of the toilet as per your community’s need.
  4. Fix up a maintenance schedule and provide training to maintenance staff so that they can help you run these facilities without any headaches.
    BasicShit

Ashwani is aiming to build 100 PeePee urinals and install them on the streets, where every corner stinks and need a smart solution. Each city one at a time. Let us come together and help him in building urinals.

Support BasicShit’s initiative in all the ways to help fight the battle against public urination hazards and to build environmentally and economically sustainable urinal systems in all the dirty corners of our cities.

 

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

MyStory: “Two Months After I Joined IIT For My PhD I Was Diagnosed With TB”

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A person suffering from Tuberculosis (TB) not only battles the ‘Mycobacterium tuberculosis’ bacteria inside his lungs but also from the stigma attached to the disease. It weakens the patients in many different ways in their fight against the dreaded disease.  

My fight with TB was also filled with stigma. I joined IIT Kharagpur for my PhD in January 2015. Two months later, in March 2015, I was diagnosed with TB. I had to take sick leave from March 2015 that eventually lasted till June 2016. Initially, I did not respond well to medication. Further tests revealed that I had multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB). This meant that the type of TB I had was resistant to two or more of the antitubercular medication I was taking.

About a year after the intensive phase of my treatment, I felt better and applied for readmission to IIT in July 2016. A prerequisite for rejoining was that my faculty members had to verify my application. With the formalities completed, I resumed my education, but I felt that something was amiss. 

My guide indicated that he did not want his work to suffer on account of my illness. I also heard from a senior colleague that my guide had said that I would spread the disease like an ‘infested animal’. I was disheartened at being subjected to this indignity by my supposed mentor.

However, my primary concern was defeating TB, so I didn’t dwell on it. Today, as I reflect on it, I realise the reasons behind the stigma were ignorance as well as fear.

Even among the educated, there are misconceptions about TB. People think all forms of TB are contagious. Others believe the patient is infectious for the entire length of the treatment. Some even believe that TB spreads through touch. This breeds the fear of contracting the illness.

As we know, people stigmatise and discriminate when they fear. I felt the impact of the stigma on two levels – in my professional life and my personal life.

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Professionally, the reluctance of my supervisor to mentor me and his discouragement affected me. I could not decide whether I should wait for the IIT authorities to tell me to leave or drop out. That decision was made for me by luck when I found out that my CSIR grant application was never processed. 

This meant that I would have to pay for my education. Given the expenditure on my treatment, this was unaffordable for me. This was the final nail in the coffin. I was forced to drop out and could not go back to completing my PhD.

What I faced was not technically illegal. I was discouraged from doing my PhD, but it was still a form of stigma. The external stigma I faced led to depression and isolation. 

Eventually, I realised I had to fight. The treatment for TB is difficult, requiring strict compliance and the management of side effects, and these demands resolve. I began motivating myself. I began following a proper diet and completing my treatment to ensure I could recover. I also turned to books as they transported me to other worlds and helped with my isolation. I also focused on reviving my old relationships.

Gradually, things improved. I could not proceed on my desired career path, but I am an educator now. I constantly realise that I have a role to play in shaping young minds. 

Workplace stigma has tangible consequences. It affects an individual’s career, financial opportunities and their right to work with dignity. So what can we do to address this stigma? 

First, we need to sensitise people by educating them about TB, and the impact stigma has on patients.

Another measure is group counselling involving the patient, the employer and the immediate supervisor. Informal versions of these sessions happen in the workplace in the context of illnesses like cancer. Why should it be any different for TB? 

The goal of this session would be to ensure that the patient is in a supportive environment. 

Finally, at a systemic level, there needs to be a workplace policy on stigma mitigation and a mechanism where the patients can anonymously register their concerns about stigma at the workplace.

A person’s career or job is often their calling and a provider of financial security. Workplace stigma creates a hostile work environment, affecting a person’s ability to do their job and their financial security. Financial insecurity and stigma make it harder for the patient to fight TB both in terms of means and motivation. Therefore, addressing stigma in the workplace is critical to patient well-being and recovery but also to their right to work with dignity.

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Quote
It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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