At a time when there is a toilet revolution underway in India, China has leapt forward in not just ensuring clean but technologically advanced public toilets in its cities. The latest additions to its line of hi-tech public toilets are Wi-Fi services and facial recognition devices.
While providing Wi-Fi is understandable to some extent as users of the public toilets may have the need to spend some time inside, adding facial recognition has puzzled many. According to Chinese news website Rednet.cn though, there is logic behind the move. Each user gets 40cms of toilet paper when he/she scans his/her face. Quoting local authorities at a sports centre in Changsha in Hunan province where one such system has been installed, the report says this is to ensure that there is no wastage of resources. This also ensures there is no theft.
And that is not all.
There are measures to check water wastage as well while there are sensors inside toilet cubicles that would alert an attendant if a user has been inside for more than 10 minutes. In such instances, the attendant is expected to knock on the door to ensure there is no medical or any other emergency. There are other devices installed as well like a monitor which shows temperature, humidity and allows users to charge their phones.
Much like PM Narendra Modi, Chinese Premier Xi Jinping has emphasised on the need to have new and upgrade existing toilets in both rural as well as urban centres - all to promote hygiene and self-esteem.