Sanitation has always been one of the bigger problems in a densely populated country like India. Tech giant Google has decided to do its bit in helping people in a way, to find hygienic sanitary utilities. Google is working with Indian Ministry of Urban Development to bring out a Toilet Locator, which will offer an easier way to find the fastest way to a clean toilet facility, according to an IBT report. Google Maps is the service which will be providing suggestions and recommendations for public restrooms which are located on the outside and also in public areas like stations, hospitals and malls. The Urban development ministry and Google together will fight will the problem by providing people with the ability to search toilets in Maps by typing in related words, either in English or native languages. Words such as lavatory, toilets, sulabh and Swachhata can be used to find the same.
An official from MoUD informed IBT that they want people to let other users inform about a particular locations condition. The official was quoted as saying, “The system being put in place relies heavily on crowdsourcing, with people’s feedback helping fuel it.” People will be able to give reviews and rating based on their experience. The pilot plan of Google tool is now available in Delhi. It will not only show public restrooms but also, petrol pumps, hospitals and many other public places where people can go. According to the report, the ministry does not have a proper plan or timeline to execute in other cities and it will take some time to expand the program.
As of now, 60 percent of the 1.2 billion people in India still defecate and urinate in the open, leading to serious sanitation issues, according to Public Radio International. Overall, 70 out of every 100 homes in the country still do not have proper clean toilet access. The MoUD official told IBTimes India, “Mechanisms are in place for the facility to be scaled up, and for it to reach all the 2,041 urban local bodies (ULBs) of the country.”