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Hygienic Public Toilet Makeover For Condemned Buses

As part of Swachh Bharat initiative, Pune-based couple Ulka Sadalkar and Rajeev Kher decided to address the problem of providing hygienic public toilets. In 2016, the couple, who run Saraplast Private Limited and have been in the portable sanitation business since 2000, took an innovative step to transform old dysfunctional BEST buses into temporary, movable luxury toilets for women. Their project is named TI which translates to ‘she’ or ‘her’ in Marathi. It also stands for Toilet Integration. Ulka was inspired by a model seen in San Francisco. Currently, the approximate cost of transforming a bus into a toilet works to re 8 to 10 lakhs. Building 100 toilets in year, would significantly reduce this cost. They have so far built 15 such toilets across Pune using CSR funds from their parent company. Each receives an average of 150 to a maximum of 300 visitors in a day. Painted pink on the outside it has neat and clean interiors. Inside, there are sign boards guiding how to use the facility. There are disposable sanitary napkins and a diaper changing station. There is also a water dispenser where you can fill bottles. It has everything a woman will need or worry about when she steps out of the comfort of her home. All this, for a nominal fee of re. 5. In the future, they plan to tie up with health centres and convert it into a public-private programme, expanding to other metros and cities. It will be a place where women can also get examined by experts and seek information on issues like urinary tract infections, cancer and more. The couple wants youngsters and entrepreneurs to come forward and share ideas to solve India’s health and sanitation needs. The sunrise sector is a staggering re. 420,558 crore industry.