India Now - page 47

E R A M S C I E N T I F I C S O L U T I O N S
I NNOVAT I ON CORNE R
51
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APRIL-MAY 2015
in emerging countries and supporting
their social development agenda. Led by
the vision of Dr Siddeek Ahmed, Chair-
man and Managing Director, Eram/ITL
Group, the company forayed into the
nascent public sanitation sector in the
country by instituting an R&D-based
social enterprise Eram Scientific Solu-
tions Pvt Ltd. Dr Ahmed’s focus on sani-
tation stemmed from the realisation that
lack of public sanitation affected women
and children the most. Undeterred by
the absence of an enabling framework,
focussed industrial activities, infrastruc-
ture or competent manpower to address
the inherent challenges of this non-
glamorous industry, he established the
public sanitation venture.
The visionary entrepreneur who had
gained a world of experience through
his involvement in more than 30 enti-
ties spread across 11 countries spanning
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab
Emirates, India, Kingdom of Bahrain,
Qatar, Kuwait, United Kingdom, Italy,
Korea, Malaysia and Turkey, was sure
that ESS would prove to be a unique
model of social enterprise. Sure enough,
the flagship product using convergence
of modern technologies, the electronic
public toilet or eToilet, has by now gath-
ered more than 34 honours, awards and
recognitions from across the world. Bill
and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF),
the world’s largest donor organisation in
sanitation, acknowledging the potential
of ESS’ initiatives, has provided grants
for further R&D and is also promoting
collaboration among various grantees to
bring world class sanitation solutions to
the public in India.
“Till date, we have implemented
over 650 eToilets located in extreme
temperatures ranging from 50 degrees
to -15 degrees centigrade, and 200 sew-
age treatment plants (STPs) across 16
states in India covering Kerala, Tamil
Nadu, Punjab, Assam, Bihar, Chhattis-
garh, Karnataka, New Delhi, Himachal
Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, etc.,”
informs Sadath. It took numerous trials
and errors and subsequent changes in
the next generation models in line with
the requirements of end users for the
first batch of successful eToilets to roll
out. “Our first eToilet unit was imple-
mented on a pilot basis in Kozhikode,
Kerala in 2010,” reminisces Sadath.
Over a 1,000 clean, hygienic and aesthet-
ically pleasing eToilets were provided by
the company for government schools
in Kerala in partnership with Suchi@
School programme and it was felicitated
with the Kerala Chief Minister’s Award
for Public Innovation. The initiation
by the Kozhikode government of this
unique public toilet embedded with a
self-washing mechanism and in-built
coin validator drew public appreciation,
especially from the women community.
“In a short span of time, there was a con-
siderable increase noticed in the usage
of the eToilet,” recalls Sadath.
The long years spent in research have
helped the company in meticulous
diagnosis of the sanitation crisis, and
the eToilet (patent pending) solution,
addressed the concerns of structural
integrity, ensuring cleanliness and
hygiene and a dedicated maintenance
plan through its product and service
methodology. Built of stainless steel or
mild steel enclosures and fitted with
electronic systems for enhanced user
experience and for tracking the status
of toilets, these solutions endowed
with automated access control systems,
sensor-enabled water minimisation, self-
washing and floor wash mechanisms,
with functional LED light technology
that lights up only when a person enters,
natural ventilation with privacy and
safety, were an instant hit.
“We work in the field of convergent
technology applications for products
and services. R&D is our main focus
and technology is our watchword,” says
Sadath. In pursuit of this goal, the
company encourages tie-ups and col-
laborations with like-minded organisa-
tions and individuals for social utility in
developing such products. The modular
eToilets are unmanned and given the
self-cleaning attribute, they have a sim-
ple user interface. The comprehensive
maintenance plan ensures that the eToi-
lets are clean and hygienic for every user.
Further, the stainless steel enclosures
being durable and corrosion-resistant
can withstand long term wear and tear.
Sensors for water and electricity con-
servation and power back-up with coin
IMAGE COURTESY ESS
Anvar Sadath,
Chief Executive Officer, Eram Scientific Solutions
“...there was a
considerable
increase noticed
in the usage of the
eToilet...it received
tremendous support
from the locals.”
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