Citizens can find public toilets near them and rate them based on four parameters – hygiene, accessibility, maintenance, and safety.

Kakkoos This app will help Thiruvananthapuram citizens find and rate public toilets
news Sanitation Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 19:34

Every one of us has dreaded that moment when we have been forced to set foot in a public toilet. Neither maintained well nor used with civic sense, usually stinky and downright dirty, these toilets are the stuff of nightmares. 

A Thiruvananthapuram-based group of urban designers called Recycle Bin is on a mission to develop an app that could, in the long term, address the issue of unhygienic public toilets.

As a step first, the group has developed an app named Kakkoos (available on Google Play Store) to find public toilets near you and rate them based on four parameters – hygiene, accessibility, maintenance, and safety. 

Recycle Bin launched the Kakkoos Kathakal (toilet stories) campaign on Thursday ahead of the mapping of public toilets. The campaign, which will last till Saturday, is aimed at collecting details on public toilets in Thiruvananthapuram city. 

Using the app, citizens can add any toilets, including details for each such as location and if it is located at a hospital, a government office, a bus station or a railway station, and categorise each based on the four different parameters. 

The campaign will be officially launched on World Toilet Day, November 19. But the app is available from Thursday for people to add details on the toilets near them. 

“In the app, people can also rate the toilets based on cleanliness and maintenance. Accessibility is also important. As part of developing the app we visited 30 toilets in the city. In a toilet at East Fort, though there is a separate toilet for ladies, the entrance to that is near the gents’ toilet. How many women will go to that toilet?” Ganga Dileep, who formed Recycle Bin, told TNM. 

The launch of the app is the beginning of research, which will in due course be developed as an educational tool on the use of toilets for the public and provide design models for civic bodies. The group is planning to make a kakkoos manual on designing toilets, based on the details collected through the app. 

“Toilet literacy is our aim. Ultimately the objective is to make public toilets a clean and user-friendly place. The pre-launch campaign has got wider response that we expected,” Ganga revealed. 

The group has come up with a novel idea for the official launch of the app. There will be a kakkoos kavadam (toilet entrance) set up at Poojappura Park, the venue of the launch. 

“Our aim is to attract the attention of those who come to the park towards the concept of a public toilet,” Ganga stated. A poster competition and a debate has also been planned in connection with the launch. 

The group has invited posters, photographs and logos with toilet as the theme as entries for their Kakkoos Kala (toilet art) exhibition. 

The winning entries will receive Rs 10,000 each and the best logo will be used for the Kakkoos app. The public can also participate by submitting ideas connected with toilets; the best idea will win a cash prize of Rs 5,000. 

“Maintaining public toilets is equally the responsibility of the public as well as that of the civic bodies and other authorities concerned. I don’t know how we lose civic sense while we use a public toilet, how we don’t think of the person who has to use it after us. Our objective is to inculcate the idea that the very concept is a responsible one. Also even when there are toilets for ladies, public toilets are not gender friendly, not for transgender people or differently-abled people,” Ganga added. 

At the launch, there will be discussions on toilets from various stakeholders, such as trans persons. 

The organisation collected basic information about public toilets from the city corporation, though it hasn’t formally collaborated with the body. If proved successful, apps will be developed for other cities as well.

 

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