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On World Toilet Day, Roca and We Are Water Foundation India released a powerful film #CleanYourHeart, bringing one of the most prominent issues faced by millions of domestic helps every day — ‘Access to Toilet’.

The short digital film addresses the stigma that domestic helps in India continue to face due to lack of access to household toilets in households/families they work for. Even the most progressive Indian households are hypocritical when it comes to the domestic helps using their toilets, creating an environment of inequality and unjust.

Commenting on the initiative, Mayuri Saikia, Marketing Head, Roca Bathroom Products, said, “India as a country has made significant progress on all fronts, however, we as a society are still struggling to get rid of some age-old taboos such as untouchability, inequality and unjust treatment towards the underprivileged section of the society. One of such cultural barriers is the prevalent mindset and practice among Indian families of not letting their domestic help use their family toilets. The irony of the situation is that despite the availability of a toilet, most domestic helps (mostly women) are discouraged from using them; while they are ones doing all the household chores, including cooking, washing clothes, looking after the kids, etc.”

Striking an emotional chord, the film is shot in the familiar construct of a home, capturing how an old lady from a modern family is made to realise the right of a domestic help to use their family toilet. Executed in an endearing manner by the central protagonists of the film, the daughter-in-law extends complete support to her house help by acknowledging her contribution and utmost trust bestowed upon her for taking care of the family needs. Showcasing two contrasting behavioural patterns of the two ladies of the house, the elderly mother-in-law and the modern daughter-in-law, the film draws attention towards our responsibilities for ensuring complete protection and providing workable conditions, including access to hygienic toilets for domestic helps to discharge their duties efficiently every day.

The campaign is part of the foundation’s larger effort to bring a collective change, both behavioural and structural, in the society and providing equal opportunity for all when it comes to hygiene and sanitation. The foundation aims to drive the behavioural shift to end discrimination and change mentality towards domestic helps’ right to hygienic toilets.

The We Are Water Foundation has two key goals. The first is to promote awareness and encourage debate among the public and organisations on the need to create a new culture for water, to enable the equitable development and sustainable management of the world's water resources. The second is to carry out a whole host of actions to counter the negative effects of the lack of adequate water resources. The foundation's fields of activity include involvement in infrastructure, education, health and research, concentrated in the world's most deprived areas.

The Film: