Satyajit Mittal’s innovation SquatEase was the winner of Swachh-o-vation and awarded the Swachh Bharat Puraskaar 2018 by the Hon. PM Narendra Modi and UN Secretary General on Swachh Diwas 2018 , Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention at Rashtrapati Bhawan Cultural Center organised by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
Competition Background :Swachh-o-vation was the nationwide competition for Tech. and Innovation in the field of Sanitation towards a Swachh Bharat.
A plethora of applications were received over 1000 innovations.
After which 55 were screened by experts in the field facilitated by Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) at UNDP, Delhi.
Further Shortlisted 17 entries were asked to make a live demonstration/presentation at the UNDP Office in New Delhi in front of a Jury which consisted of top level executives from Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Unicef, World Bank, Water Aid, IIT- Delhi. 5 finalists were selected to make an elevator pitch to a jury chaired by 1. Dr. R.A. Mashelkar and consisting of 2.Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, founder Sulabh International, 3. Sue Cotes, WSSCC , 4. Robert Chambers, British academic and development practitioner , 5. Peter Harvey, Chief Unicef
Satyajit Mittal’s innovation was awarded first place by the Jury at the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention, New delhi organised by the Ministry of drinking water & sanitation. Displayed at UN World Toilet Day
SquatEase – Inclined Towards Change
SquatEase is an ergonomically designed Indian Toilet Pan with a slight angle of inclination reduces pressure on knees providing a more comfortable experience while squatting to senior citizens and people with knee problems due to proper weight distribution and better centre of gravity. It also helps to make the Indian toilet Unidirectional and providing identification symbols making it more accessible for the visually impaired. The uni-directional aspect invokes behaviour change as the user is able to squat in the correct direction making it easier for cleaning by using lesser water.
About SquatEase: SquatEase – Inclined towards Change is a unique squat toilet pan designed to make squatting more ergonomic and pain-free. It is also the first ever uni-directional toilet which solves problems related to maintenance of squat toilets in public systems and accessible for differently abled such as the visually impaired. Squatting while using a squat toilet or popularly known as the “Indian Toilet” can be very stressful on the knees and requires balancing while squatting, often causing knee related problems over a period of time making it very difficult for the elderly . Thus, the real challenge was to make a comfortable Squat Toilet. The product creates a positive behaviour change in the user and aims to promote good sanitation and hygiene practices to put an end to Open defecation in India.
Behaviour Change- In the current scenario, most people squat on the Indian toilet with their heels up and balance themselves on their toes because they find it difficult to squat with a flat foot. Toilets can be improved if the products itself suggests a positive behaviour change in the users. Accessible for Everyone including the Visually Challenged and other differently abled. Toilet is a place for everyone. This includes the problems faced by the visually challenged and people with stress on knees. Comfort for Squatting- The squat toilet can be extremely uncomfortable to use for the user as it causes stress on the knees, the toes and makes the experience completely tiresome, difficult to balance. Multi Directional- Lack of education and proper toilet etiquettes, the users often do not know where and how to squat on a toilet, thus increasing the efforts of cleaning and increasing water for flushing.
The Introduction of the inclined planes on the footrest helps the user to squat easily without any pain. The new footrest has an inclined plane that divides the pressure on the entire foot instead of the toes as opposed to the current scenario, thus reducing the pressure on the knees and making it comfortable to squat. Ideal Centre of Gravity- The problem of falling backwards while trying to squat is completely resolved. Proper Distribution of Weight- Reducing Stress on Knees and thighs. First Ever uni-directional squat Toilet- Since the toilet footrest have a slope, its impossible to squat in the oder direction thus changing user behaviour. Designed for Differently Abled- Floor markings on the toilet are designed as a guide for the Visually impaired to identify the correct spot to turn and squat to aim correctly. Ergonomics aids to the people with joint/knee problems to squat easily. The design of SquatEase thrives on the philosophy of small changes that lead to a big impact. It creates a fundamental change in how a squat toilet is perceived today.
The pot has been designed keeping user behaviour in mind and how it enhances user experience by creating a positive change in their daily life. It not only provides the users a pain free squatting toilet but also reduces the stress on the facilitators and maintenance workers on cleaning. Not to forget that a toilet is for everybody and hence it should be available and accessible for all. #LeaveNoOneBehind. Squat Toilets have been more or less the same over the past decades, it is time we bring changes as we evolve.
About the Innovator – Satyajit Mittal, Founder Sanotion Pvt Ltd. A curious observer with a passion to de-construct a problem and build creative solutions, ideas, systems or experiences, Satyajit Mittal is a Product and Experience Designer turned Entrepreneur. He is the founder and Director at Sanotion Private Limited, a #StartupIndia recognised start-up in association with World Toilet Organisation. He’s an MIT Institute of Design Alumni and holds a keen eye for detail and likes introspecting every possible aspect to enhance everyday living of base of the pyramid (BOP). His passion towards achieving the goal of eradicating open defecation and improve sanitation in the world has led to the development of his product “SquatEase – A Clean and Comfortable Toilet Solution”. The product has been recognised by the International forum of design and has been awarded the iF Public Value Student Award 2016 and was displayed, presented and widely appreciated at the International Design Museum, Munich in February 2016.
SquatEase was the recent recipient of the Nidhi Prayas Innovation Grant by Nidhi Prayas Center, Science and Technology Park, Pune promoted by NSTEDB, Dept. of Science and Technology, Government of India. He also attended the World Water Week 2017 in Stockholm and presented SquatEase at an International Platform to the sanitation community around the world. He has been researching, analysing and developing innovative products to improve sanitation related problems for over 2 years. His aim is to help rid the world from open defecation and provide good quality sanitation for all.