How do you perceive public facilities in India, particularly restrooms in public places? In 2010, Mr Lalit Bhanot, Commonwealth Games Organisation Committee had made a very controversial remark with which many would disagree. He quoted, “Indians and Westerners have different standards of hygiene”. Later Dr Sanjeev Bagai, CEO, Batra Hospital, somewhat rightly remarked that Indians are more conscious about personal hygiene but lack the same spirit when it comes to public hygiene. Nevertheless, a smart public toilet cum convenient centre, by Fresh Rooms, is set to put this debate to rest.
Smart toilet is need of the hour
The winner of Startup India 2020 awards in the Hospitality segment, ‘Fresh Rooms’ wants to change the way we use public facilities. This technology-driven public convenient centre is making heads turn at every startup event. Many tourist destinations in India with heavy footfall, fail to provide public utilities with basic hygiene standards. Tourists often struggle to find clean public facilities even at otherwise decent localities.
Talking to DD News, Founder & CEO, Mr Ashustosh Giri, shares how he got the idea of a smart, eco-friendly, hygienic toilet which he further extended to kiosks having nap zones & food facilities as well. Fresh Homes is not only providing hygienic sanitation but also helping the environment by recycling human waste for farmyard manure, saving water in their smart e-toilet and using solar and alternate sources of energy.
Roots of Fresh Rooms – Bhopal
Many startups in India originate from the startup capital of India, i.e. Bangalore and further expand to the rest of the country. But Fresh Rooms is one such startup that is based out of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh and is preparing to start twenty-five units in Bangalore and five in Ujjain. The up and running Fresh Rooms units in Bhopal & Prayagraj have automatic toilet sheets with human body sensors, inbuilt night light, touch-free and waterless urinal, sensor-based taps, auto-flushing and QR code-based door unlock mechanism.
Ashutosh Giri, who earlier worked in an MNC, after certain travel experiences with his family, decided that it is high time that a smart solution is provided for the unsanitary state of public toilets. Taking lead from the SwachhBharat mission, he resolved to bring behavioural change in the usage of public facilities. He wanted to create a touchless experience when using public washrooms. The thought of limiting unnecessary contact with surfaces coincidently became vital to arrest the spread of coronavirus. He also aims to improve the inaccurate image of India which is painted when tourists visit the existing infrastructure of public toilets.
Mr Ashutosh, in a video conference with Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, told that Fresh Homes are one of a kind, Cloud and IoT based smart e-toilets. With low maintenance costs and a special focus on women hygiene and safety, smart toilets can also save up to 40% water in a year. With an aim of building 5000 toilets by 2024, Fresh Homes want to change the image of India which the outside world carries with respect to hygiene.
The startup ecosystem in India is still in its nascent stage but is already making a significant positive impact on the social lives of Indian citizens. It will be very interesting to see how the ecosystem evolves and benefit society.
Signing off now, stay tuned for similar information about events, which gives us hope of a better world for our future generations. See you all in our next episode.
Read more Business