How a Simple Paper Funnel Is Making Indian Toilets Safer for Women

The “Pee Buddy” sounds a bit silly, but it just might be a major milestone in female hygiene across India.

image via youtube // pee buddy

“When you’ve gotta go,” says that old adage, “you’ve gotta go.” But for millions of women across India, “going” is not quite as easy a proposition as it is for that country’s men. When it comes to restrooms in the capital city of Delhi, for example, there is a reported 10 to 1 ratio in favor of men’s public toilets, making it excessively difficult for many women to answer nature when it calls. What’s more, many of the women’s toilets are dirty, poorly maintained, and decidedly unhygienic, which presents a particular problem for anyone unable to stand while peeing. Often, women are faced with the choice of using unsanitary facilities and assuming the health risks thereof, or simply holding it in until they find a clean lady’s room, an option that can take considerable time to pan out, and lead to bladder infections and UTIs.

While on a road trip with friends, Delhi-based entrepreneur Deep Bajaj saw firsthand how the lack of sanitary women’s restrooms was creating a major problem for 50 percent of India’s population. Inspired, Bajaj created the “Pee Buddy,” a simple, one-time-use, waterproof-coated paper funnel, which allows women to pee in any restroom, without having to endure skin-to-surface contact with questionably hygienic toilet seats.

Says Bajaj

“To me the market is limitless. I will be happy if our public toilets became so clean that women no longer need PeeBuddy, but till then the product will find more and more customers. Especially, when it has the potential to be a woman’s companion in all sorts of medical conditions like arthritis and pregnancy.”

HuffPo points out that while this is not the first “pee-while-standing” device, the Pee Buddy stands out as being particularly accessible, and affordable, for many of India’s women at whom it is specifically marketed toward: A pack of 25 Pee Buddies costs just 375 rupees, or slightly less than six dollars. Bajaj is reportedly hoping the Indian government will take notice of his invention, and offer it at subsidized rates, perhaps as part of a 2015 initiative to improve sanitation nationwide.

In the meantime, the Pee Buddy is already racking up rave reviews from Indian women relieved with no longer being forced to choose between holding their bladders or risking a trip to a filthy toilet. Writes one user on the Pee Buddy site: “This is a must for ladies, this provides the benefit of urinating in peace and not having to sit on dirty toilets. Ladies who have knee problems and difficulty squatting in indian [sic] toilets will love this.”

[via medical daily]

via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

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