English | Dzongkha Saturday, September 21, 2019

Chapto, a toilet at your bedside

Tshering Dendup, Thimphu
Aug 24, 2019

Bhutan Toilet Organization (BTO) launched its first local made portable toilet “Chapto” which can be easily used anywhere.

Members from the Civil Society Organizations, Central Monastic Body and hospitals attended the launching ceremony of Chapto today in Thimphu.

The name “Chapto” was derived from an age-old practice of using a container as a night toilet. Chapto is a small-sized portable toilet pot that can be easily lifted by two persons. It consists of a 40-litre tank and a seat which is optional for use. According to BTO, the tank will fill after using it 80 times. The back of the tank has a drain pipe through which the waste can be dumped.

“In the past when people couldn’t go outside to attend nature call due to old age or illness, they used to keep a container near the patient called “Chapto”. Chapto is for people who are ill and for old people who are not able to use ordinary toilets. It is like a toilet visiting the people instead of people going to the toilet. It is comfortable and it does not smell as well,” said Chablop Passang Tshering, the Executive Director of BTO.

Chapto will come to the rescue of many people who have difficulty using the ordinary toilets. Hundreds of people who are confined to bed and has limited mobility due to illness, disability, accident or old age can now be able to manage their toilet routines independently.

After encountering real-life incidences of people with a grave problem using the ordinary toilets, BTO planned and decided to come up with a solution to the problem. The founder of BTO Chaplop Passang Tshering saw a possibility of developing something different at a cheaper cost from a bedside toilet he imported from Bangkok.

“When we imported bedside toilet from Bangkok, that’s when I understood that the problem was grave. A lot of people were unable to visit the toilets. The demand for it was more. When we looked at it, the cost involved in it was huge considering the travel costs and the entity. That’s when we decided to build our own,” he added.

He also added that it can also be used in prisons for the convenience of both the prisoners and the police. Monks meditating in retreat and people travelling can also use the pot easily. It was also designed and manufactured towards creating a hygienic and serene environment everywhere.

“When a person is bedridden with illness for a long time, relatives or friends always cannot cater to them and eventually becomes hopeless. For other provisions such as food, It’s not a problem. But when it comes to the toilet matter, it really becomes difficult. If there is a proper toilet in place, it becomes a lot easier. That is why we made the Chapto,” he said.

For now, Chapto will be operated as a social enterprise considering the lack of funding in the first place. The price of one Chapto is Nu 10,950 including the seat.

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