DIY STAND TO PEE

DESIGN STRATEGY 

Classroom Project | Group of 3 | 3 weeks

Design and business model for self assembled Stand to pee(StP) device for women in developing areas, to be able to utilize even unsanitary public toilets.

THE CHALLENGE

UN Sustainable Development Goal:

By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.

THE SOLUTION

An open source DIY Stand to Pee device, that helps women use public toilets by upcycling hydrophobic materials, eliminating contact with contaminated surfaces & reducing the risk of UTIs.

About 300 million women and girls in India still have no other choice than to defecate in fields and face not only disease but missed school, public shame and sexual assault.

 

“I get up before dawn, and I go and knock for my friend. Then we go to the field together.” 

- The Guardian

DEMOGRAPHY

Nearly half the world’s population lacks access to improved sanitation conditions and half of them reside in India. (2015 UNICEF/WHO report)

 

Even though the Indian government is taking big steps to provide more community toilets, their maintenance is often beyond the scope of the project rendering them useless.

Ill-maintained public toilets (image purposely blurred)

CONTEXT

In New Delhi, there are 3439 public urinals for men while only 268 public toilets for women. This leaves women at a higher chance of holding it in and being at risk of UTIs.

“Try to squat in a sari, while holding a cup of water to clean yourself and keeping an eye out for rapists.”

Public urinals for men

PRODUCT CONCEPT

Our Stand to Pee device: Neerja helps women upcycle locally found hydrophobic materials, to better utilize unsanitary public toilets by eliminating contact with contaminated surfaces and hence, reducing the risk of UTIs.

WHAT IS IT?

Neerja (\nēr\jah) means Lotus/ Pure.

It is a Do It Yourself(DIY) pattern for crafting an ergonomic funnel without the use of precise measurements. It can be constructed at home, collapsible to carry and reused more than once (depending on the material). 

 

MATERIALS

Similar to the native hydrophobic flower Lotus, we recommend any material that has water resistant or beading properties.

Pictured below are a few of the materials we identified within the rural Indian environment. Some of them are plastic sheets, wax-lined paper cups, laminated packaging, tarpaulin and lotus leaves.

DIY Manual

BUSINESS MODEL

Phase 1

Neerja team trains existing Self help groups(SHGs) who take initiative to train other members of the community. 

The SHGs can hold workshops during female-centered celebrations, for eg. the celebration of puberty, when a girl menstruates for the first time. Among other new products added to the girl's life that day, Neerja could be an addition as well.

Phase 2

The SHGs gauge the uptake after this pilot training. By pooling in a seed investment, they can source better material and refine the technique to start selling mass-produced products.

Desired material properties:

Antibacterial

Hydrophobic

Semi-stiff

For eg. Gore-tex

Adhesives or sewing can be introduced to make the pattern more durable. 

Image by Sritharan

Puberty Celebration in south India

SHGs train girls during this celebration

FURTHER AREAS OF WORK

 

• Standing to pee can be quite a foreign concept for this demographic and a pilot test will be able to prove the uptake or the inhibitions. 

• Researching the abundance of these materials and other material possibilities.

• Creating the brand identity in the local languages of India.

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