An Indian entrepreneur has devised a female urination product that helps women in India micturate while standing, thus avoiding any physical contact with unhygienic toilet seats. Jim Drury reports.
Urinating in broad daylight is a last resort for men desperate to empty their bladders. Such an unpleasant solution isn't so palatable for women. And the problem is perhaps worst in India, which suffers from a shortage of clean toilets. SOUNDBITE (Hindi) A STUDENT, PRIYANKA RAWAT, SAYING: "The toilets stink badly and it makes me very uncomfortable to use them, as they are very unhygienic. Due to these factors I have to tell myself that I will only pee once I get home." Delhi entrepreneur Deep Bajaj says he's designed a solution - Pee Buddy, a waterproof cardboard funnel. The idea came from road trips with female passengers. SOUNDBITE (English) FOUNDER OF PEE BUDDY, DEEP BAJAJ, SAYING: "On every trip we would see this as a pressing problem that while men could just have their beer or whatever they wanted to have on their way, females would always be restricted and they would reject eight out of 10 toilets where we'd stop and for obvious reasons. If you look at the condition of public toilets in India, especially on the highways and this includes the best of restaurants and petrol pumps, you stop anywhere and you don't get a good toilet." The user should hold Pee Buddy between her legs, under the flow area, and tilt her hips slightly forward, ensuring the funnel is tilted downwards. After the urine is poured into the toilet, Pee Buddy is thrown away. Similar plastic devices exist in the west, but Pee Buddy is catching on in the Indian capital, where women's toilets are ten times less common than men's - and often in poor condition. SOUNDBITE (Hindi) A WORKING WOMAN, MADHURIMA MISHRA, SAYING: "Now that I have used it I found it really user-friendly and I am a working woman and I have to use the public toilets a lot of time and I have this fear of infections so at that time it's like a boon to me." Dirty toilet seats are a breeding ground for bacteria. Development organisation WaterAid says diseases spread through dirty water and poor sanitation are the fifth biggest killer of women world-wide. Pee Buddy costs around 20 rupees - or thirty American cents - per unit. Bajaj wants the government to subsidise the cost in rural areas.