TN Labourer Makes Remote Controlled Toilet Bed For Ailing Wife, Wins National Innovation Prize

A 42-year-old welding labourer, S Saravana Muthu of Thalavaipuram, Tamil Nadu has bagged the second prize for National Innovation Foundation.

The man who believes ‘incidents bring solutions and that’s innovation’ has made a remote-operated toilet bed for his ailing wife.

His wife Krishnammal, 40, was bedridden for two months after she underwent a surgery in 2014. “I understood the pain of bedridden patients then. They have to depend on someone and not in all cases they have someone who does the caregiver’s job without showing signs of disgust. Such dependence affects the privacy of patients. So I thought of this solution to ensure their dignity and independence is protected,” he told TOI.

His award-winning bed toilet consists of an attached flush tank, closet, and link to the septic tank with an opening in the middle. The patient is given a remote control with three buttons on it. One is to open the shutter at the base of the bed, the second one is to open the closet. The third button is to flush the toilet.

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He initially struggled for funds but later on, he managed to spoke to former President APJ Abdul Kalam, a couple of months before he passed away. “He asked me to apply for the National Innovation Foundation and told me it is for people like me to get recognition and help.”

It took a complete year for Muthu to make the toilet bed. He has received the second prize from the National Innovation Foundation-India of the Department of Science and Technology. On March 15, President Ram Nath Kovind presented him the award in Gujarat.

The prize consists of Rs 2 lakh cash, reimbursement of 35,000 for making the first model cot and sponsored flight tickets. Muthu also told that he has got in all 385 orders from all over the country since 2015. But could deliver only one model owing to lack of funds.

Muthu’s invention is proof that innovation requires only grit, determination and hard work; everything else comes all along!

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