Sociologist, social activist, and Founder of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement, Dr. Pathak believes the toilet is a tool for social change. He has received a great deal of national and international recognition for his work, including the Stockholm Water Prize in 2009, and he is considered a pioneer for social reform.
Sulabh household toilets constructed
Government toilets constructed based on Sulabh design
Sulabh community toilet blocks
Towns made scavenging free
People using toilets based on Sulabh design daily
1968: Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak joined the liberation of scavengers’ cell of the Bihar Gandhi Centenary Celebration Committee in 1968
1970: Sulabh Organisation Registered
The mass movement by Dr. Pathak started spreading all over the country with a cadre of about 50,000 Sulabh volunteers
1972 Catalytic Agent:
After developing a technology, Dr. Pathak evolved a methodology which also spelt out how a non-profit making social organisation could work as a catalytic agent between the Government, local bodies and the beneficiaries.
1973 Scavengers Liberation:
During the past 30 years, Dr. Pathak brought the scavengers’ liberation programme from the microlevel to the macro-level.
1974 Pay-and-use System:
In 1974, the Sulabh Founder gave another concept of maintaining the community toilets and bath on the pay-and-use basis.
1978 Historical Seminar:
Seeing the success of the scavengers liberation movement in Bihar, the Ministry of Works and Housing, Government of India, in collaboration with the WHO and UNICEF, organised a national seminar at Patna in 1978 on conversion of bucket latrines and liberation of scavengers.
1980-81 Legal Protection:
Dr. Pathak persuaded the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, to include liberation of scavengers and their rehabilitation programme on the "whole-town approach" basis.
1984 Biogas from Public Toilet:
The first Sulabh public toilet linked biogas plant was set up at Adalatganj, Patna.
1985 Training And Rehabilitation:
With the help of the Ministry of Welfare, Government of India, Welfare Department, Government of Bihar, and the Bihar State Scheduled Castes Development Corporation, Sulabh started a training and rehabilitation programmes.
1985 Technology Evaluation:
The UNDP and the World Bank after evaluation of the Sulabh technology of the pourflush toilet and the methodology of the maintenance of public toilets and baths on ‘pay-and-use’ basis, passed it on to the countries of South-East Asia, Africa and Latin America for their adoption.
1986 Protection of Civil Rights (PCR) Act:
Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak persuaded the Ministry of Welfare to give stipends to the wards of Muslim and Christian scavengers also for training and rehabilitation.
1988 Scavengers In Temple:
Dr. Pathak solved the problem of entry of Harijans into Nathdwara Temple in Udaipur, Rajasthan, for prayers.
1989 Casteless Puja:
On his return from Nathwara, Dr. Pathak launched a campaign to help the Scheduled Castes offer prayers in temples and performing puja at their homes by Vedic Brahmins.
1990 Social Upgradation of Scavengers:
To improve the social status of scavengers in India, Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak has launched a movement to socially upgrade them.