Delhi University students create eco-friendly toilet in Kamla Market Police Station
Students of Delhi University’s Jesus and Mary College have built a public toilet, using sustainable approach, at Kamla Nagar Police Station in Ajmeri Gate.
Eco-bricks, fly ash, single-use plastic bottles, and other sustainable materials are what comprise the newly built public toilet inside the Kamla Market Police Station complex at Ajmeri Gate. “Your waste is your own. Nobody else should have to pick it up,” says Kavya Gupta, president of the Enactus cell of Delhi University’s Jesus and Mary College, which has whole heartedly contributed to building this toilet as part of Project Sugam.
Kavya, along with her peers, was elated when the toilet was inaugurated, on Tuesday. “Our initiative addresses the issue of plastic waste and poor sanitation in the country,” informs Sania Gupta, general secretary of the cell, adding, “The construction finally began in May, after we worked extensively on this project for four years, starting 2019. Our seniors had originally conceived the idea but the pandemic paused this initiative. After that we faced several challenges that caused the delays. Even logistically it was a huge task to accomplish.”
It was decided to build the loo inside the complex of the police station after a careful deliberation and recce. Kiran Sethi, sub-inspector, Kamla Market Police Station, says, “This police station is the closest to places such as the New Delhi Railway Station, Ramleela Ground, GB Road, and Special Executive Magistrate (SEM) Court. The public doesn’t have access to clean washrooms in this area and often one finds men urinating on the walls! So the new toilet here will not only allow public to have access to a hygienic sanitation facility, but also familiarise them with the idea of eco-friendly initiatives... When the public sees the plastic bottles used both for art and function, unhe lagega ki waste se bhi kitna kuch achha ho sakta hai.”
The ₹2.5 lakh budget for this toilet was raised by the JMC students through a crowdfunding initiative since they have been gunning for an eco-conscious approach to contemporary problems. “The roof of the toilet is made using matkas (earthen pots) that naturally regulates the temperature of the building while keeping it cool. There are sensors that automatically switch on the lights as someone steps inside. So this helps conserve electricity as well,” adds Kavya, stating, “Half of the eco-bricks were donated to us by a Noida-based NGO Jaago Bharat. The map of the toilet, the hardware used in it, as well as the murals on the exterior walls have been painted on a pro bono basis by various firms who we approached.”