From designing eco-friendly urinal bags to building resilient education systems: This week’s top social stories

It is fascinating to see people come up with innovative solutions to real problems. One of these innovations is Peeschute by Siddhant Tawarawala. Peeschute’s unisex paper-based urine bag immediately solidifies human urine to keep it leak-proof and odor-free.

Moreover, he also offered a ready-to-use unisex urinal solution named ‘Peeschute Baksa’—which is a sustainable urinal model made from recycled plastic panels that will solidify human urine into compost. This compost in solidified form can be easily transferred anywhere and used as water retention to turn barren farmland into land capable of growing crops.

Read this and other inspiring stories this week on SocialStory.

This entrepreneur has developed an eco-friendly urine bag for just Rs 10

It is a common sight to see people urinating in public spaces like sidewalks in India. The reasons range from lack of access to hygienic public toilets, to public apathy and lack of awareness.

Also, the non-availability of clean toilets is a huge problem for those who travel frequently. Many people, especially women, are forced to hold their urine for long periods of time when outdoors, which can lead to urinary tract infections.

Siddhant Tawarawalawho used to travel frequently during college years, encountered the problem of non-availability of clean toilets.

Siddhant decided to find a workable solution to this problem after attending a contractor workshop during his third year of engineering. In 2019, he launched Peesfallwhich develops unisex paper-based disposable urine bags to help people relieve themselves.

Siddhant distributes Peeschute bags to villagers

A great app for all things queer: Pride+

A 2021 survey across 27 countries by global market research firm Ipsos found that 80% of people identified as heterosexual, 3% as gay, 4% as bisexual, and 1% as pansexual, asexual and other. Regarding India, in 2012 the government claimed that there were 2.5 million gay people in the country, based on individuals who had self-declared to the Ministry of Health.

However, stigma against the community persists and there are virtually no “safe spaces” for LGBTQIA+ people.

Mumbai-based theater enthusiast, filmmaker and state-level dance champion Aayush Agrawal is working to change that.

He started creating a gay dating platform and started working on Pride+a great app that would fulfill everything anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community would need.

Rebuilding better and equal resilient education systems

A recent news article that highlighted how 43,000 students in Odisha failed to show up for class X exams rocked the education system. Another fact-finding survey revealed that as schools reopened, students faced a severe shortage of teachers and a lack of basic infrastructure.

Before the pandemic led to the closure of schools across the country, India had six million out-of-school children. Now that number has grown to 10 millions— especially among the poorest and most vulnerable. Today we face a new reality and schools and learning are called to acquire new dimensions and modalities in the years to come.

India needs to act in five main areas to overcome this crisis and build back better to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 (ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all) by 2030. We need to plan and implement a COVID-19 education action plan for a inclusive, gender-responsive, well-monitored and well-coordinated educational response.

From the slums to the renowned film institute

Shailesh Saini

Hailing from the Andheri slums in Mumbai, Shailesh Saini always dreamed of succeeding in the world of photography and cinema.

However, like any child growing up in the slums of Mumbai, life was not easy for Shailesh. But, despite his family’s limited financial resources, he was always encouraged to pursue his dreams of becoming a photographer and filmmaker.

Her father, who runs a small flower shop at home, and her mother, a housewife, have always been very supportive of her dreams despite their humble origins. His older brother, after many difficulties, recently managed to get a job as a clerk in a bank.

“Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved cameras. I’ve always enjoyed capturing people and their stories as well as photographing nature,” says the 20-year-old photography enthusiast.

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