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Google and Modi govt join hands to combat India's toilet problem

  • The facility will be first launched in Delhi metropolitan area and Madhya Pradesh
  • People can search using words like toilet, lavatory, shulabh or swach
  • The application helps locate toilets in public spaces like hospitals, shopping malls and gas stations
Google Modi government toilet locator
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In a move to promote Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) and Digital India dream, the Central government has associated with tech giant Google to launch a toilet locator tool which help people locate a clean lavatory nearby. 

In India, finding a toilet, that is clean enough to use, is indeed a problem, especially for women. Roughly less than 30% households in the country have access to toilets resulting in a practice of open urination and defecation. To combat the issue Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) is partnering with Google to launch a tool that will help people access clean public toilets. 

The government is also planning to launch an app to help the tool function effectively. 

The tool will be first launched in Delhi metropolitan area and Madhya Pradesh. Users can search for closest restrooms by typing the words like 'toilet' or 'lavatory' or Hindi words like 'shulabh' or 'swach'. The application will help locate toilets in nearby hospitals, gas stations, shopping malls and other public places. 

Cleanliness of a toilet will be asserted on the basis of data provided by the public who can either list a particular restroom as clean, untidy or closed. So far, the data on over two lakh toilets in the location had been gathered and it is being integrated with the help of Google Maps. 

The app will also have additional features like the type of toilet - Indian or Western, cleanliness rating, free or paid usage, etc.

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