Eloo was set up in 2019 to look into creating safer, sanitary and hygienic washroom facilities, especially for women. The startup has piloted one project in West Bengal’s Santiniketan, so far. Spare a few minutes to know about it.
Diptendu Roy was travelling with his girlfriend (now his wife) through Chhattisgarh back in 2018.
He realised there were no rest stops anywhere on the highway. While it was easy for Diptendu to take quick bathroom breaks, his girlfriend struggled to find a safe spot to relieve herself, and had to use precariously constructed hut-like enclosures on the rare occasions they chanced upon one.
The highway in southern Chhattisgarh did not have any rest stops mainly because of threats from Naxal groups in the area.
The smattering of dhabas (roadside eateries) they visited did not have any washrooms either and they were the only pit stops on that route, and since business was good because of a lack of any other options, they didn’t feel the need to do anything to remedy the situation.
When Diptendu poked and prodded the eatery owner about the lack of washroom facilities, he was told local women travelling on the highway didn’t feel the need to use them because they abstained from drinking or eating anything at all on days they’d planned their travels.
Set up Eloo
He set up Eloo — an IIT-Mandi Catalyst-incubated startup, to look into this commercially. So far, the Raipur-based startup has piloted one project in Santiniketan, West Bengal, where Diptendu grew up.
How it works
Eloo’s bus washrooms are quite unique because they not only up-cycle what would have been a potential waste — decommissioned, old buses — but also because set-up costs are cheaper and no land has to be bought as such.
The bus in Santiniketan has three washrooms for women, one gender-neutral washroom, a bathing area, and a changing room cum breastfeeding area.
Installed with artificial intelligence
The startup has installed IoT devices to monitor the cleanliness and sanitation of the washrooms, and users are asked to rate or flag any areas of concern after they use the facilities.
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