As the Clean India campaign gets underway, with its ambitious target of a toilet for every household by 2019, WaterAid explores how something as simple as a toilet can help transform lives by following the story of one ambitious mother in Uttar Pradesh.

Radha Verma, determined to protect her daughter after she narrowly escapes a physical attack, builds one of the first toilets in Rakhi Mandi slum, home to 3,500 people. Radha’s story shows that change is possible, even in a challenging urban environment, and that ultimately everyone, everywhere needs a safe place to go to the toilet.

Across the Tracks is about a community where WaterAid is working as part of the HSBC Water Programme.

For more information about how the project in Rakhi Mandi works, please explore our multimedia story >

Awards and screenings

Two Dollar Challenge – Online – 4-8 April 2016
CineMe Shorts - showcasing short films from female filmmakers – Tobacco Factory, Bristol – 29 March 2016
Social Impact Media Awards – Impact Video Category – February 2016
TVE Global Sustainability Film AwardsWaterAid & HSBC NOW edit, Winner, Community Investment and Best overall film – London – November 2015
WeThePeoples Film Festival
– Winner, Best Development Film – London – November 2015
BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2015 – York – November 2015
Open City Documentary Festival 2015 official selection – shortlisted for Best UK short award – June 2015
Rankin/Hunger TV and Docheads short film competition 2015 shortlist – February 2015
Sidcot Arts Centre – Bristol – 20 January 2016
We The Peoples Film Festival screening and Q&A – November 2015 – London
The Shit Show – New York – November 2015
Woodpecker Film Festival – Delhi – September 2015
Canary Wharf big summer screen – London – August 2015
Bristol big screen – Millennium Square – July 2015
Docheads screening – London – April 2015

In the media

  • On 8 September 2015 one of India’s leading television networks, Doordarshan, showed the film alongside a studio interview with Rajeev KJ, Regional Manager at WaterAid India, and Rakesh, from Shramik Bharti, reaching an audience of over 2.3 million.
  • Radha’s story was featured in the Guardian online on 1 June 2015.
  • Braving violence to reach a toilet in India's slums’, written by WaterAid's Catherine Feltham and Brenda McIlwraith for The World Weekly, also features Radha's story and discusses Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Clean India campaign.

Please contact [email protected] for more information.

In education

Find out more

Ram Bitoli and her neighbour.

When the sun turned red

Ram Bitoli first noticed she was losing her sight when the sun turned red. Without access to health care, she quickly lost her vision altogether.

Meet Ram >

Rakhi Mandi slum, India

Steps towards Clean India

Almost half of India's 1.2 billion people use open areas to defecate and urinate, putting women and girls in danger of attack, and whole communities at risk of  disease. Meet the people of Rakhi Mandi, a railway slum, to find out what life is like there.

A story of fear, hope and dignity >

Safeda Basti slum, New Delhi.

Clean India: one year on

One year after Prime Minister Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) – otherwise known as the Clean India Mission – to make India open defecation free by 2019, Neeraj Jain, WaterAid India’s Chief Executive, analyses its performance so far.

Read Neeraj's blog >