Registration Name : eINDIA2011/AN/138
Project Category : eHealth::Best Private Sector Initiative of the Year
Project Name : Delight :: India’s First Electronic Public Toilet
Details of Applicant
Name : Ria John
Address : Eram Scientific Solutions Pvt.Ltd. Devi Gardens, TC 9/1615, SRKM Hospital Road, Sasthamangalam, Thiruvananthapuram
City : Thiruvananthapuram
State : Kerala
Country : INDIA
Zip Code : 695010
Details of Project/Implementing Agency
Name of Organisation : Eram Scientific Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
Address : Eram Scientific Solutions Pvt.Ltd.,Devi Gardens, TC 9/1615,,SRKM Hospital Road, Sasthamangalam, Thiruvananthapuram
City : Thiruvananthapuram
State : Kerala
Country : INDIA
Zip Code : 695010
Name of the head of Organisation : Siddeek Ahmed
Website : www.eramscientific.net
Brief description of the programme/project/Initiative :
Delight: Indiaâ€™s First Electronic Public Toilet. Delight is positioned as the ultimate solution for providing state-of-the art Public Sanitation infrastructure which would address the key sanitation issues viz, maintaining hygiene, energy conservation and sustainability of public sanitation facilities primarily in developing geographies. Delight is the need of the hour to ensure public toilets across the country are maintained hygienically, with the minimum of manual intervention, and substantial energy and water savings as well. The e-toilet works on total auto mode. The insertion of a coin opens the door for the user, switches on the light – thus saving energy – and even directs the user with audio commands. The toilets are programmed to flush 1.5 liters of water if the user takes up to 3 minutes, and 4.5 liters of water if the usage is longer. Platform cleaning is also programmable. The e-toilet is the result of a convergence of electronics, web and mobile technologies, featuring automated door opening, power flushing, automatic closet washing and sterilization, and automatic platform cleaning mechanism, all backed by SMS alerts to inform the control room about the status of water tank and bio gas plant in the event of any errors or failures through which the downtime can be minimized. The solid and liquid wastes are treated scientifically. A bio-membrane reactor is used to treat solid wastes and the water used is purified for reuse.
Why was the project started :
The plight of Indian sanitation system has been miserable all these years. And to add to its misery, despite its remarkable technological and industrial advancements in the global arena, there has been no effectual stir made so far in Indian history in order to curb the issues arising due to inadequate sanitation amenities and poor hygiene. The existing conventional sanitation facilities in cities and towns are contemptible and lack proper hygiene and cleanliness. As a matter of fact, most of the times, people hesitate to make use of the public provision for sanitation. Another facet seen to be contributing towards waning the existing sanitation system is lack of appropriate maintenance, insufficient manpower to maintain the units and improper treatment of waste disposal. It can also be drawn that the public making use of the provision also fails to keep the units clean after usage. This emerging need to provide an aesthetic, clean, hygienic and unconventional sanitation amenity encouraged our team to develop an innovative solution to address this issue.
The objective behind undertaking this project is to bring about a paradigm shift in the deplorable sanitation situation in the urban public sanitation front. The initiative aims to provide decent sanitation facilities that maintain a high level of hygiene to the general public and to add to the aesthetics of the location. The project also seeks to ensure sustainability, income generation, and employment generation.
Target group : General Public
Geographical reach : Currently, India, GCC Countries & Africa
Date from which the project became operational : January 2010
Is the Project still operational : YES
10 points that make the programme/project innovative?
- Indiaâ€™s First Electronic Public Toilet: It is for the first time, a fully automated toilet is planned for the common man in the country.
- Innovative Portable design and Easy to transport and implement
- Convergence of multiple technologies such as mechanical, electrical, electronics, IT & Communication
- Thrust for cleanliness -Self Cleaning and sterilization
- Electromagnetic doors and Coin Validator for entry
- State of the art indigenous design and localization of components
- Efficient power and water management/Solar energy can also be utilized
- Sewage treatment through Bio Membrane Reactor to ensure minimum water is used and Water Recycling is also possible
- Innovative Self Checking / Booting system and SMS/ email based alerts
- Unique Economic / Income generating model through advertisements and coin collection which ensures sustainability in operations, Income Generating and employment generation model
List the 5 achievements of the programme/project?
- Recepient of the eWorld Public Choice Award 2011 for the Most Innovative Initiative in Healthcare, the PMI Award for the Best CSR Project and selected for the Washrooms & Beyond Honors 2011 for the Innovativeness in Public Conveniences
- Government agencies such as KELTRON, SIDCO and Kerala State Womenâ€™s Development Corporation aggressively promoting the product as they find the solutions is the very effective for addressing the urban public sanitation infrastructure in the most sustainable manner
- Institutional Tie-ups with IISc, London School of Economics, IIM-Calicut and University of Notre-Dame (Discussions with Faculties and visit of faculties going on- soon to have institutional tie ups)
- Positive public response and acceptance of the innovation
- High media attention- Delight is being reported in leading national and regional newspapers every 2 weeks.
List the 5 key challenges faced while implementing the programme/project/initiative
- Since the toilet was completely automated, technology phobia was evident in the early stages of the initiative. But gradually, as Delight received much media hype and government support, the initial reluctance has turned to curiosity and acceptance
- Decision to use only indigenous components- We decided to choose most of the components developed indigenously and without meeting our requirements from China or other countries- This was again a challenge which called the need to develop our own systems.
- Convergence of multiple technologies- As we use electrical, electronics, mechanical, web, mobile and sewage treatment technologies, it was challenging to co-ordinate experts from all these domains.
- As a start up venture, it was difficult to get funding for developing this product. In India, Banks do not generally approve funds for R&D projects.
- Availability of quality manpower was an issue during developmentbut we engaged in a Mission Mode to identify and place suitable candidates from grassroots level and from reputed institutions.
List the 5 points how can the programme serve as a model that can be replicated or adapted by others?
- Delight is developed with easily transferrable technology. The organization is moving towards technology transfer and is on the verge of implementing the same in Africa/ GCC and developing countries. One such agreement is signed with South Africa already.
- Self Help Groups and individual entrepreneurs are empowered to adopt and implement the solution in their area of operation. This will ensure that the region receives the benefit of the innovation along with providing employment to the citizens.
- The organization has also entered into tie-ups with many advertisement companies by stressing on the advertisement revenue model that is associated with Delight.
- CSR funds are also invoked for providing better sanitation facilities to the public.
- Different models of Delight are developed and more are being developed to suit the geographical, demographical and economic diversities of various regions. Currently we have 3 variants of the basic model along with School Model, Imperial Model, Carbon-free Model and High Water Table Model.
List 5 points to elaborate on the scalability of the programme/project/initiative
- Delight is a highly scalable model as the technology is easily transferrable to other countries. The different models of Delight also ensure that the project can be expanded across geographies. Our vision of future expansion spans the dream of the entire developing and under-developed regions gaining access to decent public sanitation facilities. Nurturing this vision in our hearts, we are focusing on maximum technology transfers to other developing and under-developed countries.
- In India, we have adopted “Dealership model and Self Help Group Modelâ€ for expanding the operations of Delight.
- Philanthropic donations and CSR funds are also assisting in taking the project forward.
- Our immediate attention lies on identifying multiple, cost-effective and innovative technologies for conserving valuable resources and reducing the quantity of water and power used in each Delight unit. Novel methods of sewage treatment are also under consideration. The ultimate aim is to transform â€œDelightâ€ as a green toilet. For this, currently we are in a tie-up with IISc, Bangalore.
- Since, this initiative is in line with eradicating one of the gravest problems in the society, i.e. Urban Public Sanitation, and the National Policy has earmarked almost 24 crores for meeting the sanitation issues, this project is sure to expand and scale up.