It's a daily struggle for millions of slum dwellers in the country to get access to a toilet, a perennial problem that authorities have so far been unable to solve.
But, now a Swedish firm has come out with a solution -- Peepoo, a biodegradable toilet bag that can be used as fertiliser.
The toilet bag, which has recently undergone field trials in India, Bangladesh and Kenya, is expected to help mitigate the dreadful situation for millions, especially the women in the slum areas, says its developer Anders Wilhelmson, an architect and professor in Stockholm.
"Peepoo is not just a toilet bag, it's a solution to human waste disposal problem, the biggest obstacle to sanitation and public health in developing countries like India," Wilhelmson told PTI in an email interview from Stockholm. "It will be of great help particularly for women, who often wait all day until it is dark to go to the toilet, increasing their chances of infections."
According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 600 million people or 55 per cent of Indians still do not have access to toilets. About 54.71 per cent of urban slums have no toilet facility and most free community toilets built by the government are rendered unusable because of the lack of maintenance, the UNDP report for 2009 said.
Camilla Wirseen, one of the founders of the Peepoo project, said the bag is designed in a way that it is easy to use and hygienic.