This April Fool’s Day, transport company Ola launched an online ad that emphasizes on the subject of having a more public washroom and the menaces of taking a leak in the open. While the brilliant ad does send a message that hits close to home where over 700 million are still devoid of a hygienic toilet, their ad #OlaRestrooms – a mobile toilet van for you to use the mobile bathroom didn’t sit well for the audience.
The “Ola Restrooms”, which they say can be booked via its app left Twitterati fuming with anger on realising that the supposedly brilliant idea to curb open defecation was in fact an April Fool’s day prank by the transport company.
Taking it to Twitter to express their anger on this cruel joke, one user wrote, ‘’And if this is your idea of an April fool gag, trying to be cool like Google, the joke is actually on you. A cruel irony if you will. Your drivers sleep in their cars, pee on the roadside, in bottles. And you want to privatize toilet infrastructure’’.
And if this is your idea of an april fool gag, trying to be cool like google, the joke is actually on you. A cruel irony if you will. Your drivers sleep in their cars, pee on the roadside, in bottles. And you want to privatize toilet infrastructure. https://t.co/nFWI6oQxts— The Soya Factor (@tetisheri) March 31, 2019
Another user criticised the ad for showing some women, desperately waiting to use the toilet with a click of a button while in the real world it is girls and women who are the worst hit by the country’s sanitation crisis.
can’t believe ola would play such a cruel april fool’s prank on women who need a bathroom 😭 pic.twitter.com/RRFJuq3JAz— ✨ (@PedestrianPoet) March 30, 2019
@Olacabs only if you put this money into installing ACs in your cars and not spend brushing up your marketing skills for April Fool's day, I'll accept you as a trusted brand:https://t.co/MGTWRfVecN#ola #cars #customer #UX #april #fool— Sankalp Sinha (@sankalpdomore) March 31, 2019
Cruel prank. Especially at a time when women in the country suffer with infections due to non availability of public restrooms on the go and fall sick often. Very very insensitive. Hope God bestows with some wisdom on you idiotic fools. The joke is on you afterall. Get well soon.— పినవ (@pnvarma) April 1, 2019
The irony of it all is that the ad which happened to have a very deep message for a country like India, which is hit by sanitation issue should be placed as a prank. Taking the most vital issue in the name of a joke should be the biggest joke of it all.
However, come April 2nd, you will be able to donate a mere Re.1 all for the betterment of the sanitation crisis. Because the company has also launched a nationwide crowdfunding campaign to enable building more toilets across India that will positively impact over 20,000 people across India. Launched under Ola’s ‘My Ride. My Case program’ users will be able to contribute Re. 1 per ride from April 2nd till October 2nd, 2019. For the initiative, the transport company is reported to have partnered with Gramalaya, an approved key resource center from the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation will use the initiative to further the cause of building toilets in areas where having a toilet is seen not as a basic ‘necessity’ but a ‘luxury’.