Social Upgradation Programme
The problems arising from casteism and untouchability are complicated, old and deeprooted. Even the scavengers, considered unclean and untouchable by society, accept their lowly position in society.
The problem of Balmikis is as much economic as it is socio-cultural. In fact, it is woven into the fabric of India’s culture. Traditions take time to change and require the will and support from all sections of society. Sulabh has evolved the concept of ‘social adoption’ with this end in view. It is purely voluntary. All it costs is the willingness to shed social prejudice and show some compassion for fellow humans
A committed citizen publicly ‘adopts’ a Balmiki family. Subsequently, the two closely interact and visit each other’s home. Occasionally help is rendered towards social adjustment. As the adopters are usually persons of social standing and prestige, their action becomes a role model for others. Social adoption has helped significantly in the integration of the Balmikis in the mainstream of society.
So far 10,000 scavenger families have been adopted by well-known personalities including the former Prime Minister of India, Mr. I. K. Gujral. Dr. Pathak also led 100 Harijans into the Nathdwara temple in Udaipur, Rajasthan, in 1988 to promote religious and social cohesion. This courageous act defied human orthodoxy and helped evolve cultural integration.