Last month I finally met Lavish Madiya with whom I had shared my aspirations of bringing home prefab toilets. In fact we met online because of my very interest in toilets. He has just ventured out to produce exactly the thing I wanted, just some 30 km away from our Phuntsholing gate.
He had come to market his products in Thimphu, which includes among other things park benches, tiles, window frames, door frames etc but I went to meet him specifically to understand about the prefab toilet.
His wife Neha, who’s also a writer and social worker, used a cute little prototype to explain to me the composition, features and management of the prefab toilet. They knew I was their most potential client with no money. But they have seen Bhutan Toilet Organisation on the top of Google rating in Bhutan and knew how passionate I was about it. Neha kindly shared with me the basics of getting the organisation started because she has been part of many such initiatives in India.
The real toilet they are intending to bring in will have a net weight of 70kg, everything is detachable, attached tank can be used by 25 people for a week, tank can easily be connected to a styptic tank and will come with a water tap, wash basin, and urinal. In addition to that the tallest person in Bhutan can easily stand inside it and it can be customized for people with special needs but the scariest part is the price because without the tax it sells at about Nu.30,000 per unit in India.
Considering the cost and transportation of cement, bricks, toilet pot, pipes, basin, walls, roof, labour charges and time I am wondering if Nu.30,000 makes sense. But it will be a while before I figure out where the money is, and meanwhile I think tour companies and event managers could consider it. If I succeed you will see these toilets at your service during events like Tshechu, trade fair, book fair, clock tower events, and may be at strategic locations in populated communities.
By the way, I am told that during one of the big events in past years we brought in quite a number of prefab toilets from China. Can anyone please enlighten me on where and how they are kept? Let’s use them, if they are still there.
The writer is a teacher at the Royal Academy in Paro