Sulabh Founder Bindeshwar Pathak Conferred Padma Vibhushan Posthumously

Sulabh Founder Bindeshwar Pathak Conferred Padma Vibhushan Posthumously

New Delhi, January 26 (TNA) The Government of India has conferred the prestigious ‘Padma Vibhushan’ award on the late Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of the Sulabh International organization. He has been awarded the Padma Vibhushan posthumously for his role in social work.

Others who have been given the Padma Vibhushan include Vyjantimala Bali, eminent actress, Konidela Chiranjeevi, the South movie superstar, M Venkaiah Naidu for public affairs and Padma Subrahmanyam in Arts. She is from Tamil Nadu. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has thanked the government of India for naming Pathak for the prestigious award.

Pathak was the Brand Ambassador for the Swachh Rail Mission of Indian Railways, a complement to the broader Swachh Bharat Mission. His work is considered pioneering in social reform, especially in the field of sanitation and hygiene. He received various national and international awards for his work with this organisation. He was presented with the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration, Academics and Management for the year 2017 and was conferred the Padma Bhushan, India's third-highest civilian award, in 1991.

Pathak first came to understand the plight of manual scavengers in 1968 when he joined the Bhangi-Mukti (scavengers' liberation) Cell of the Bihar Gandhi Centenary Celebrations Committee. During that time, he travelled throughout India, living with scavenger families as part of his PhD research. Drawing on that experience, he resolved to take action, not only out of sympathy for the scavengers but also in the belief that scavenging is a dehumanising practice that would ultimately have a destructive impact on modern Indian society.

Pathak established the Sulabh International Social Service Organization in 1970, combining technical innovation with humanitarian principles. The organisation works to promote human rights, environmental sanitation, non-conventional sources of energy, waste management and social reforms through education. The organisation counts 50,000 volunteers.

He has made innovative use of biogas creation by linking Sulabh toilets to fermentation plants, which he had designed over three decades ago and which are now becoming a byword for sanitation in developing countries all over the world.

One of the distinctive features of Pathak's project lies in the fact that besides producing odour-free bio-gas, it also releases clean water rich in phosphorus and other ingredients which are important constituents of organic manure. His sanitation movement ensures cleanliness and prevents greenhouse gas emissions. He passed away after a massive heart attack on August 15 last year.

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Agency