A new product, launched by a Delhi startup last year, gives women the ability to urinate while standing up.
The PeeBuddy is a single-use funnel created from paper that is both coated and waterproof. The funnel is seen as one possible solution to India’s lack of clean toilets.
The country is one of the worst in terms of access to clean toilets. A study released by the World Bank in 2013 showed that over 600 million people defecate without the use of a toilet. This figure corresponds to over 53% of households.
Even if women can find a public toilet to use, it is often dirty. As a result, it is common for them to drink less water, which can lead to health issues.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition demonstrated that dehydration was a primary factor in instigating headaches, loss of focus and fatigue.
By using the PeeBuddy and urinating while standing up, women in India are able to create a more hygienic atmosphere in an otherwise dirty bathroom. The startup’s website says the product is ideal for restaurants, nightclubs, public toilets and other popular destinations.
The idea for such a creation was born during a road trip consisting of four couples, according to Deep Bajaj, PeeBuddy’s founder.
During the trip from India’s capital territory to Jaipur, a city to the south in the Rajasthan state, Bajaj said the group made frequent stops to look for clean bathrooms, as only around one in five met the wives’ standards.
When one of the women on the trip commented how she wished she were in Europe so she could have access to a plastic device to use when encountering unsanitary toilets, Bajaj came up with the idea for the PeeBuddy.
The product is favored over others that have been produced because of the relatively cheap cost. A pack of 20 funnels costs 375 rupees (less than $6).
GoGirl, for example, is a reusable device made of silicone, but costs $9.99 each. Pee Pocket, also a disposable, coated-paper funnel, costs $24.99 for a 48-pack.
While some stores have been slow to put PeeBuddy on shelves, possibly because of the unusual product name, 20,000 packs had been sold through April of this year, due in large part to Amazon India.
The startup is also currently working with several corporations to help make the PeeBuddy more widely available.
– Matt Austin Wotus