90 per cent of women state that the public washrooms in the outdoor environment be it the workplace, shopping malls or hotels are not clean and suitable to use in the country. While we are very close towards achieving the prestigious goal of open defecation free India, the poor state of public toilets and women hygiene still remains a big challenge. The survey report titled ‘Say no to dirty toilets’ against dirty public washrooms covered about 20,000 women between the age group of 18-50 years spread through social media sites, across Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Chennai, Pune, Patna and Kolkata. Most of the travellers and shoppers admitted that holding urine is the only alternative for using dirty toilets followed with pee in semi-squat position and wiping dirty toilets. The survey highlights that millennial are not ready to compromise when it comes to feminine hygiene and safety. Smaller cities are aware of the grievances of UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) and are concerned about the state of public washrooms in their respective regions. Women use alternative to tackle the issue which can have future implications on health. Holding urine for a long period can cause kidney stones, weaken bladder muscles and other severe kidney disorders. Semi-squatting leads to prolonged pain in joint and pelvic muscles. These alternatives become a nightmare for women, especially for old age. It is high time for the nation to address the poor state of women hygiene at public toilets. Unhygienic menstruation practices and dirty washrooms are key triggers of urinary tract infection. 65.2 per cent of our women respondents revealed the risk of urinary tract infection associated with dirty public toilets. Toilets have always been a problem area in public spaces, and the major concern is hygiene, . “We visited a lot of public toilets in the city and most of were horrible and unusable,” We kept brainstorming, built a couple of units and discarded them. A report titled True Cost of Sanitation, which was published jointly by the LIXIL Group Corporation, Water Aid and Oxford Economics, found that lack of access to sanitation cost India 5.2% of its GDP in 2015. In this scenario, we believe the Loocafé's can be a game changer
Ixora Corporate Services has innovated “Loocafe”, which is a combination of Washroom + Café. “Loocafé'' is India’s First ODF ++ Compliant Free to Use Public Washroom. It is a strong sustainable model under smart cities initiatives. Loocafe is built on used shipping containers, with an optimum space of 170 sq ft with retrofit of a premium free to use washrooms for ladies, gents and disabled the remaining space is utilized for a small café. The design and architecture of this innovation allows the innovation to be self-sustaining as the majority of toilets fail due to maintenance and lack of control. Technology built for Loocafe is based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IOT) enabled, which transmits stink – smell levels, energy, user data, and is monitored by a 24/7 central command centre, ensuring safe, clean, hygienic washrooms for every user. Unlike the existing models, Loocafe emphasizes women security, feminine hygiene, sanitary napkin dispensers, baby feeding, diaper changing, and features in every unit. With dwindling green cover in cities, Loocafe is designed with Green Lung spaces providing greener, cleaner surroundings.
Manufacturing Capacity: Loocafe is a path breaking innovation which is changing the entire Urban Community and Public toilet scene as 95% of toilets fail because of sustainability issues , self sustaining toilets are the best solution to provide cleaner , safer and hygienic washrooms to urban population , with easy of installation and easy of de installation it provides best solution to Cities which are facing regular road widening , sewerage lines non availability etc . We are expecting 10,000 Loocafe installations across India in 5 yrs period.
Problem Scale: While Govt , NGO , CSR companies pour in 100 of crores in Public washrooms , the Biggest problem lays in the Operations and maintenance , while majority of toilets installed fail due to non-maintenance , Loocafe is designed for self-sustainability has been a model well received and has scaled up to 400 units in the shortest period