Bindeshwar Pathak, social leader who ended manual scavenging in India dies

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 15-08-2023
Dr Bindershwar Pathak
Dr Bindershwar Pathak


New Delhi

Dr Bindershwar Pathak, the man who initiate a campaign to end the inhuman practice of manual scavenging in India and chairman of the Sulabh International founder died at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi on Tuesday.

His work has been considered pioneering in social reform, especially in the field of sanitation and hygiene. He has also received various national and international awards for his work with this organization.

Under Sulabh International, he developed and implemented, on a pan-India scale, a low-cost and appropriate toilet technology popularly known as the Sulabh Shauchalaya system.

Saulabh Sochalya are low cost paid washrooms run across public places in India that are run on self financing basis. All the toilets at railway stations and metro stations are run by this organisation.

In a way he was the first man in India who thought of cleanliness as a public policy and delinking scavenging from caste. he has also set up the world's first roil Museum in India in Dwarka New Delhi.

In the last 50 years, he has worked tirelessly for the human rights of manual scavengers. 

His actions aimed at rehabilitating manual scavengers, and providing alternative employment through skill development have received wide praise.

Pathak championed the need for toilets in schools.

Headed by Pathak, Sulabh International has been playing a significant role in fulfilling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream to make India a clean country.

Recognising its efforts Sulabh was awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize for implementing the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign).

Sulabh International is a social service organization that works to promote human rights, environmental sanitation, waste management and social reforms through education.

Condoling Pathak’s death, PM Modi in a tweet on the microblogging site X (formerly Twitter) said that his work will continue to inspire several people.

“The passing away of Dr Bindeshwar Pathak Ji is a profound loss for our nation. He was a visionary who worked extensively for societal progress and empowering the downtrodden. Bindeshwar Ji made it his mission to build a cleaner India. He provided monumental support to the Swachh Bharat Mission. During our various conversations, his passion towards Swachhata was always visible. His work will continue to inspire several people. My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones during this difficult time. Om Shanti,”, PM Modi shared in a tweet.