World Toilet Day 2019: Cleanliness and sanitation are the main focus of campaigns such as Swacch Bharat Abhiyan launched by PM Narendra Modi-led government. The nationwide campaign aims to spread awareness of basic sanitary habits. The government claims to have helped construct 5,49,645 community and public toilets.
The government, in a partnership with Google, launched the Google Toilet Locator on Google Maps in 2016. All one has to do is to open Google Maps and type in public toilets. They will then get a list of toilets near their location along with their full address as well as their opening and closing time. The service is available in Hindi as well as English. Citizens can even rate and review the toilets. They can add their suggestions and even add pictures to assess the cleanliness and hygiene.
The Ministry of Urban Development has collaborated with the tech giant, Google for the development of an application. The Toilet Locator has so far managed to locate over 2 lakh toilets.
- Swachh Bharat Urban (@SwachhBharatGov) November 19, 2019
In a press release by Google, the company said that is working closely with the Ministry of Urban Development in order to add the location and the opening and closing hours of over 4,000 public restrooms. This will be done in order to provide better sanitation and help raise awareness about crucial information on the same.
Sanket Gupta, Product Manager, Google Maps told NDTV that if for example, you're travelling on Gurugram's National Highway 8, finding a public toilet can be a daunting task. The only options you have are restrooms in nearby cafes or restaurants. Having this information on your fingertips is an easy alternative.
Open defecation and the lack of toilets are still huge concerns in India. Applications such as Google Maps Toilet Locator can help citizens find the nearest place to relieve themselves. It's a handy tool especially keeping in mind that few parts of India still face the problem of sanitation. Many Bollywood films such as Toilet: Ek Prem Katha have tried to shine a light on this problem.
The world celebrates Toilet Day today in order to raise awareness on the importance of sanitation and the lack of it in a few parts of the world.