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Commercial Cleaning

India company turns buses into women’s toilets

In India, where hygienic public toilets can be difficult to come by, a pair of entrepreneurs has transformed run-down buses into hop-on toilets for women.

The pink women-only ‘washrooms on wheels’ are now dotted around the city of Pune in the west of the country. For a five rupee (€0.06) fee any woman can board the toilet to use the facilities, breastfeed babies or purchase sanitary towels and nappies.

Launched in 2016 by Ulka Sadalkar and Rajeev Kher, the Ti Toilet project – “ti” means “her” in the local Marathi language – has 12 mobile washrooms, on average used by more 200 women daily. The buses are powered by solar panels mounted on top of the vehicle.

Sadalkar said the pair, who run a portable sanitation business, came up with the idea as part of a series of projects focused on improving hygiene in the city. The aim is to open 1,000 toilets across India in the next five years.

Even as India went on a building spree constructing millions of toilets as part of prime minister Narendra Modi’s flagship Clean India programme, experts said the lack of water or electricity meant many remain unused.

State governments have struggled to maintain public toilets, which are often poorly lit, unmanned, and not cleaned. They are also mainly used by men so women – who fear for their safety – avoid using them.

Source: European Journal of Cleaning