When the GHMC LooCafé in Madhapur first opened its toilet lid — apologies for the pun — social media was clogged with plenty of punchlines — again, apologies. Some onlookers joked about ‘eating while you go’ and others thanked GHMC for setting up India’s first public luxury washroom all while letting the potholes in their neighbourhoods resemble a deep grave.
The venture was kicked into gear by Abhishek Rabinder Nath, Managing Director and CEO of IXORA Corporate Services. Abhishek is no stranger to social entrepreneurship; he was pegged as one of ‘50 Most Influential Under 50’ last year as well as winning ‘Cleaning Leader of the Year’ in 2016. So that being said, I think it’s okay to trust him with such.
Functionality and all
So one may naturally ask; how does the 170 square-foot space sustain itself? The technological advancements are definitely worth noting down. The system features a water-level sensor, a footfall sensor, a feedback button and... a stink sensor. Yes, you read that right, but we all know it’s necessary.
- Tracks the usage of water and levels of the 1000 litre water-tank above the café. Leakages can also be tracked for maintenance purposes.
- When it gets a bit funky in the washrooms, cleaning teams are alerted.
- Helps people directly share their satisfaction with the facility, helping IXORA and GHMC understand the needs of consumers
The space is pretty too, with minimal and motivational mottos on the walls, such as, ‘The best seat in the house,’ and ‘smile, you’re losing weight.’
Techie Aaravi Malhotra speaks of how using the facilities offered at the LooCafé helped her out. “I know some people won’t want to hear this, but I don’t care. I had gotten my period a little ahead of time, and my office is in the area but there weren’t any shops nearby. So my friend said this space has Feminine Hygiene option, dispensing pads. So that helped me out, because my home is quite far off, in Marredpally.”
Plus several new moms have made use of the LooCafé to change their baby’s diapers using the adjustable table for exactly such a task.
Some at the Madhapur bus stop say it’s a good start, and offering toilet seat covers is quite thoughtful on the part of the provider, while a lot have commended its location as strategic, given the café is close to the constantly bustling Shilparamam, where finding a neat toilet is a trek. In fact in the near future, Hyderabad will see 100 LooCafés sprouting all over the city.
Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Mohali and Indore, don’t feel left out; Abhishek says plans are underway to set up in your localities.