This happens with almost 80 percent of us Indians. One of the top most things that comes to our minds when we have to travel by the Indian Railways is the dismissal state of toilets in the national railways of the second largest population of the world. The situation becomes even more critical in case of journeys that last more than a day. Well, this might become a thing of past, all thanks to Vinod Anthony Thomas, a student of Manipal University.

Vinod has designed a waterless and odourless toilet in order to solve all the toilet issues currently being faced by the Indian Railways. In fact, Vinod has won himself a second prize for his this very invention. The competition was held by the Indian Railways keeping in line with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi's much ambitious Clean India initiative.

The competition entailed designing waterless and odourless toilets in trains which are easy on operation and maintenance. Vinod Anthony Thomas, currently pursing his Xth semester at Faculty of Architecture (FOA), Manipal University took part in the competition organized by Research Designs and Standards Organization, Lucknow where Ten entries were finally made the cut to the shortlisted pile.

Vinod walked away with the second prize position and a prize money of Rs 75,000. He shared the position with another designer, Rahul Garg and teammate Saurabh Hans.

Vinod's design says goodbye to the old, unhygienic way of disposal of human waste on the railway tracks. His project also talks about how the current being used model of toilets in the railways aren't subjected to effective flushing, which leads to accumulation of the waste and results in foul smell.

The award-winning design takes care of this problem by introducing a system of waste management that replaces the system of flushing with water and generation of foul smell with a conveyor system carrying waste in a hermetically sealed pocket to a large collection bin to store waste. This is run manually by a crank wheel. The bin effectively reduces the amount of waste by way of forced ventilation, and decomposition.


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