Google has announced that starting from October 2nd, 2019, users in India would be able to find nearby public toilets using Google Maps. The initiative was launched in 2016 as a pilot in three cities- New Delhi, Bhopal, and Indore, in collaboration with the Swachh Bharat Mission and Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs and now Google Maps has listed over 57,000 public toilets in more than 2,300 cities in India.
Commenting on the milestone, Anal Ghosh, Senior Program Manager, Google Maps said, “With Google Maps, our aim has always been to help people as they navigate and explore the world, wherever they are. And we believe that making information about public sanitation facilities easily accessible to people is a key element for social good — one that also constitutes the cornerstone of the government’s Swachh Bharat campaign to promote clean habits and hygiene.”
This is not just a feature in Google Maps, but the experience is spread across users in different forms. Users can simply type ‘public toilets near me’ on Google Search or Google Maps or ask the Google Assistant about the same, and they will get the results within seconds. Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs will monitor visits, ratings and reviews to obtain valuable insights to maintain and upgrade toilets, whenever required.
Google Maps has an active Local Guides community, and the community members continue to share feedback on toilets in their locality. Google Maps had run a campaign last year to raise awareness and that resulted in 32,000 reviews, photos, and edits being added to public toilets across India by Local guides.