Lotus- it blooms from mud and is beautiful… the Theme of the event organised by TEDx Janpath on February 28, 2015 at American Centre, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Connaught Place, Barakhamba, New Delhi invited Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, the sanitation crusader, alongwith other renowned speakers, to deliver talk on “Technological innovations made the difference in the lives of untouchables”.
Speaking on the subject, so close to the heart of Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, the social crusader, narrated his life journey with the audience. He said that the “The problem of untouchability and social discrimination have existed in India for more than 5000 years. Untouchables were a class of people who had to clean human excreta of others to earn their livelihood. The untouchables had to face all sorts of humiliation, insult and drudgery by the people.
To know about their origin, their life, their attitudes, their customs, their culture, their fears etc. he went and lived in the colony of untouchable scavengers in Bettiah town for three months. In the year 2011, just to feel the misery and drudgery being faced by the untouchables, he himself cleaned the bucket toilets in Arrah, Bihar.
Moved by the plight of the untouchables and believing in Gandhi’s dictum that “till the untouchables clean night soil nobody will have food with them”; he developed Sulabh Twin-pit Pour-Flush Compost Toilet technology which has helped in moving towards the goal of eradicating manual scavenging. He developed two technologies one for households and another for public places.
He narrated as to how he went on to change society by following Gandhi’s ideals of non-violence which eventually led into bringing a vast transformation in the lives of the untouchables, helped them to perform the rites, rituals of the Brahmins and upper caste, helped them to go to temples, to go to Varanasi, famous sacred place of Hindus, took a dip in the river Ganges, worshiped Lord Shiva and have food with Brahmin families which had never happened before in this country.
With the very core mission of TED to spread “ideas worth sharing”, TEDxJanpath aims to be a nexus for great Ideas, stories, experiences and amazing people who are dignitaries in their respective field of work or study. TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.