Children often keep falling sick. Sometimes it’s just to bunk classes, other times it due to their lack of hygiene and extreme exposure to all sorts of germs. For the students of Panchayat Union Middle School, Kurumbapatty, however, falling sick had become an everyday affair. Students were always complaining of nausea, fever or a stomach ache and many thought that the stench from the school toilet was the prime reason for it.
Trying to find a solution to it, some decided to keep a check on their hygiene by bathing regularly, washing their hands and other basic hygiene habits. Inspired by the simple 4-step formula of Feel-Imagine-Do-Share devised by Design for Change, a nonprofit organisation, the children decided to find a solution to their problem, personally.
A five-member committee, comprising 13-year-olds Supikpandian, Santhosh, Dhiyanithi, Ragul, and Prabaharan was set up that would investigate into the matter personally. After careful probing, it was concluded that the cause was the school toilet. Devoid of proper urinals, the boys would urinate on the floor with their sandals and feet being sprinkled by urine and bring the stench and germs back to the class. Also, the drainage system of the school came out to be faulty.
And hence an innovative method was devised. With urinals being costly, the boys took to whatever best could be utilised. While drinking water from a 20-litre bottle of water, one of the boys imagined the bottle to resemble a urinal. And under the guidance of Kesavan D, the boys decided to procure bottles from sellers, cut them longitudinally and convert them into low maintenance urinals.
Considering the idea as perfect, even the sellers gave the leaking bottles free of cost.
And then followed the process of installing the ‘Safe Mode Pissing System’. With collected funds, the students did a complete makeover of the toilet, refurbished the pipes, painted the walls and created a drainage system where urine could easily vacate the neck of the bottles through pipes.
The boys used the method of drip irrigation to make sure urine was flushed out of the bottles as well!
Using their creativity, a little bit of text from the textbooks and pure application of their brains, the kids actually came up with a urinal system that was very much feasible, low cost and completely hygienic. The students are also going from school to school, creating awareness and encouraging their design in other schools as well.
“We can implement this project not only in schools but also in houses and public places. We can prevent urinary infections and stenches by implementing it. This will reduce the number of patients in the community. Through this project, we can make the country clean and hygienic…We can observe the motive of the scheme ‘Swachh Bharat’ (Clean India).”
The students are also the proud winner of ‘Boldest Idea’ award from amongst 3,600 Stories of Change submitted for the ‘I CAN Awards 2016’ organised by Design for Change. They were also appreciated and garnered with prized with the Village Education Committee.