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Student Bags Prize for Design of Revolutionary Odourless and Waterless Railway Toilet

An innovative toilet design that goes hand-in-hand with cleanliness and the environment, designed by a tenth semester student from Manipal University

Vinod Anthony Thomas, a student of Manipal University, has clinched the second prize in an all India competition for his his design of an odourless and waterless toilet.

The tenth semester student took part in a competition organized by Research Designs and Standards Organization, Lucknow.


Picture source: Twitter

The competition had been organised keeping the Swachh Bharat mission in mind, and was held to find innovative solutions to tackle common problems faced by the railways.

The jury consisted of experts from railways, industry and academia, as well as research fields. Only ten entries were shortlisted for the final round. The designers then had to present their designs to the jury on May 31, 2016, after which results were declared. Vinod’s design won him the second place, and also a cash prize of Rs 75000, which was shared with two other designers, Rahul Garg and Saurabh Hans.

Vinod’s toilet design is innovative in the way that it does away with problems such as foul smell, caused due to lack of flushing. It also addresses the existing problem of disposing waste on the tracks, which is both unhygienic and environment-unfriendly. The design replaces the traditional flushing system with a conveyor system, which transports the waste in sealed pockets to a bin. The bin is designed to reduce the amount of waste through forced ventilation and decomposition.

The system doesn’t use any power as well, and is run manually by a crank wheel.


Photo source:

“My design is simple and minimalistic, with importance given to hygiene, neatness and ease of use,” Vinod Thomas said to The Hindu

His efforts were lauded by his college as well.

Nishant H Manapure, director, Faculty of Architecture said that Vinod has brought laurels to Manipal University. “It’s first of its kind for FOA and I am hopeful the students will showcase their talent in future also,” he said to The Times of India.

Here’s to a better, cleaner and more hygienic future!

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About the author: Varun Jadia is a high schooler who has just completed his Class 10 boards. He enjoys listening to music, playing his guitar, playing badminton, writing and reading. Math is his favourite subject, and in the future, he wishes to pursue a career in economics.