The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, under the aegis of Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban (SBM – U), has partnered with Google to launch the Loo Review campaign to encourage all local guides in India to rate and review public toilets on Google Maps.
This campaign is part of a feature which allows all citizens to locate public toilets in their cities on Google Maps, Search and the Assistant and also provide feedback on the same. 500+ cities in India with more than 30,000 toilets with the name of “SBM Toilet” are currently live on Google Maps.
One of the objectives of the Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban (SBM – U) is to provide sanitation coverage through public toilet facilities across cities in India for achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) status. With around 3400cities already having achieved ODF status, and other cities gearing up towards the same, there is now a need to ensure that the ODF status is sustained through continuous usage and proper maintenance of public toilets.
The joint campaign to be run throughout October and November 2018 is an effort to increase the awareness and ease of locating public toilets across India. The campaign will involve and engage Local Guides in India to rate and review public toilets on Google Maps, and use the hashtag #LooReview for the chance to be featured on Google Local Guides’ social channels. Local Guides are people who share reviews, photos, and knowledge on Google Maps to help people explore the world.
Shri DurgaShanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, said, “The Ministry has identified that there is now a need to move beyond monitoring and measuring outputs and targets for toilet construction to enhance actual usage, functionality and sustainability. The ‘Public toilets near me’ feature will benefit citizens, particularly women and senior citizens, who often find it difficult to find access to clean toilets in the public space. The feedback provide by local guides through the Loo Review campaign will press upon the Urban Local Bodies to take proactive steps to improve public toilet facilities across the country.”
Chetan Krishnaswamy, Director Public Policy, Google, said “Google is a committed partner in achieving the Government’s vision of a Swachh Bharat. ‘Public toilets near me’ is a feature that is supported across Google Maps, Search and the Assistant. In close partnership with the MoHUA, we have mapped toilets across 500 cities in India in the last year alone. Through the #LooReview campaign we are engaging our enthusiastic Local Guides community in India to further increase the awareness on public toilets in the country, and help citizens discover clean and well-maintained options in their vicinity.”