They say necessity is the mother of all inventions. And this is exactly what drove IAS couple Vipul Ujwal and Sonali Giri to create an app that does the most important thing for nearly every Indian – find a public toilet.
Vipul (37) and Sonali (31) have built ‘Swachh Bharat Toilet Locator’ which helps solve the often frantic search of people ‘under pressure’ in New Delhi, reports Indian Express.
The idea struck the couple when Sonali went on a futile and frustrating search in Delhi Connought Place area for a lavatory. Vipul says:
“My wife wanted to use the washroom and we simply couldn’t find one. That’s when it struck us that there is a need for the government to release an app which gives detailed information.”
With help from two former batchmates from Institute of Management Studies (Bikaner) and municipal sanitary inspectors, they were able to map information of all 600 toilets across urban centres in Punjab.
Through the app, a user will get detailed information about a lavatory – from its location to whether it is Western-style or Indian.
They can also rate the toilets on hygiene, infrastructure and safety and whether it has additional features such as seats for the differently-abled or the availability of sanitary pad dispensers.
“If user ratings are bad or slide considerably, the app would flag these toilets to the respective urban local bodies, which will have to remedy the situation. The idea is to not only to locate but also improve the toilets, most of which are not maintained well.”
The app service will be launched by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, once data on every public toilet in all 4,041 statutory cities and towns in the country is collected.