Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak is an Indian sociologist. He is the founder of the Sulabh International, Sulabh Sanitation Movement and Sulabh Toilets movements in India and around the world.
Wiki / Biography
He was born on Friday, April 2, 1943 (age 76 years; as in 2019), in the village of Rampur Baghel, Dist. Vaishali, Bihar. His zodiac sign is Aries. He studied at a public school in Rampur, Bihar. He attended RDS College in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, National College Patna and Patna University. In 1964, he obtained his degree in sociology, then M. A. in sociology in 1980 and M. A. in English in 1986. In 1985, he completed his doctorate and in 1994 he finished D. Litt.
Family, caste and wife
It belongs to Brahman Hindu family. His father, Dr. Rama Kant Pathak, was an Ayurvedic doctor. He is the second of six brothers and sisters. In July 1965, he married Amola, residing in Mehnar in the Vaishali district. They are fortunate to have three children, a son and two daughters.
Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak worked hard to solve the problem of open defecation and manual cleaning. To solve this problem, he created Sulabh International, a non-profit organization, in 1973. This organization helped to build more than 1.5 million Sulabh Shauchalayas (flush toilets) through India and nearly 20 million people use it every day. The toilets of Sulabh Shauchalyas earn more than Rs. 500 crores a year. His confidence has generated jobs for more than 50,000 people who manage 8,500 toilets in India.
At first, he had to face many obstacles, especially from his family. In an interview, he said
I was about 5 or 6 years old, "recalls Pathak. "A woman, who was a Dalit, came to sell household items to our village. One day, I touched her to say something … Hell is unleashed. My grandmother not only scolded me, but also made me eat cow dung, drink cow's urine and give me Ganga-jal to "cleanse me." The incident left a scar. I began to wonder why the Dalits were treated inhumanly while they had the same flesh and blood as us. I dedicated myself to doing something for them when I grew up. "
Since he came from a Brahmin family, he was reluctant to work with the people of Bhangi-Mukti Cell. In India, manual cleaning is considered Dalit work and not a Brahmin. He was inspired by the principles of Gandhi, so he continued to work with this group instead of thinking of casteism. Asked about this group, he revealed that
Initially, I was reluctant to stay with people considered "untouchable" by society because I was Brahmin, but it was my job, so I accepted. However, very quickly, I was very moved to see the state of the manual scavengers … cleaning the human waste pit latrines and transporting them to eliminate them. "
On March 5, 1970, he contracted a loan of Rs. 50,000 and founded Sulabh Svachchh Shauchalaya Sansthaan. His first project in this context involved 200 m² of office in Patna. Later, to further support this program, he began to support CSR funds from companies such as the State Bank of India, CGSB, Maruti, HDFC, Bharti Foundation, and so on. It was renamed Sulabh International in 1980. At first, everything went well, but there was a crisis at one point. In an interview, he said
The nonprofit organization needed money to operate, but there was no toilet order. The situation reached such a point that I had to sell the jewelry of my mother and my wife to manage them. I was almost bankrupt and I had lost all hope. "
The situation stabilized in 1973 when he was ordered to build two toilets in Arrah District, Bihar, and that he won rupees. 500 of it. Soon, it became one of the profitable businesses of India with a one time investment.
Awards and distinctions
- 2003: Named to the Global 500 list by UNEP; the same year, he received the UN Habitat Award of Honor
- 2004: The Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment
- 2005: Dr. A. P. Abdul Kalam Receives Good Corporate Citizenship Award
- 2009 Stockholm Water Price
- 2015: CNN News-18 Indian of the year
- 2016: In the same year, he was awarded the New York Global Leaders Dialogue Humanitarian Award.
- 2017: Golden Peacock Lifetime Achievement Award, the same year he received the Lal Bahadur Shashtri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration, Teaching and Management.
- 2018 23rd Nikkei Asia Award
Sulabh Bhawan, enclave road Mahavir Palam Dabri, New Delhi 110045
- His family was Orthodox and firmly believed in casteism.
- His grandfather was a famous astrologer of that time. Dr. Bindeshwar said that
When I was barely two years old, my grandfather had prophesied that I would gain many names and fame in life. "
- Being from a Brahmin family, he had to face the opposition of his family and loved ones because of his choice of work. He revealed that
My parents and my in-laws, as well as society, were angry at me because they found it derogatory that a Brahmin was working for the lower caste, but I was ready to fulfill Gandhiji's dreams. . "
- He shared an experience from his college years, he says
I was too shy and introverted at this time. I still remember queuing to enter college and withdrawing every time I reached the door, then back in the queue … The porter eventually grabbed me and forced me into the principal's office! "
- Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak earned 54% of the mark in his first year of study and was awarded an RS fellowship. 14 per month. He shared another experience of his college days saying that
My father used to send RS. 25 every month for extra expenses, "I lived with my uncle in Patna, who looked after my food and lodging. My friends were kind and took me to the movies.
- After graduating, Dr. Pathak joined Gandhi High School as a temporary teacher for a monthly salary of Rs. 5,000. 80 in his village.
- After his marriage, he left the teaching position and joined a thermal power station in Patratu in Ranchi (currently in Jharkhand) as an assistant accountant. After this work, he joined his father's pharmacy in Muzzafarpur. Later, he also left this job.
- When he joined the Bhangi-Mukti (Scavenger Liberation) cell of the Bihar Gandhi Centenary Celebration Committee in Patna, he began to learn and understand the true meaning of Gandhi's principles. He said that
The Committee has been mainly involved in disseminating Gandhiji's ideas and in releasing manual scavengers from illicit practices, "says Pathak. "I slowly started to be attracted to the ideals of Gandhiji. My whole life has changed. "
- Because of his noble work and his contribution to society, he has received many honors and achievements. April 14, 2016 was declared "DR. BINDESHWAR PATHAK DAY "by Mr. Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City.
- To raise awareness of the importance of toilets, his organization runs a washroom museum in New Delhi.
- He appeared in the TV series Sony TV Kaun Banega Crorepati, broadcast on October 2, 2019 (on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi).