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MANGALURU: Sociology should not be confined to pedagogy and research alone, but also it should have an intervening capacity to fix the problems of the society, said Bindeshwar Pathak, founder, Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement.

He was delivering inaugural address at a two-day national conference on ‘social sciences and social development’ organized by Mangalore Sociology Association and department of Sociology and Association of Humanities of St Aloysius College on Friday. “Sociology is a study about the society, human relationships, culture, values etc. It is one thing to study the thematic issues of social sciences but it is equally imperative and important to analyse the application of social sciences in solving the problems of the society. After 30 years of my hard work and persuasion, action based sociology was finally introduced in the curriculum at MKS Bhavnagar University of Gujarat at graduation level and it has started teaching sociology of sanitation.

Some other universities in the country have also agreed to teach sociology of sanitation from next academic session. My dream wish is that sociology of sanitation should be taught in all universities of India and abroad,” Pathak said.

Referring to the recent case of Shingnapur where women are prohibited from offering worship at the sanctum sanctorum, Pathak said that in the eyes of law everybody is equal, but socially people are discriminated. “This is a classic case of discrimination, and how society clings on to formulaic ideas which are regressive. So in my opinion, India has not attained the equality in the society and the general discrimination still persists,” he said.

Narrating how two towns of Rajasthan have been successfully declared scavenging free, Pathak said, “nobody can say that there is no answer or solution to the problem of scavenging or untouchability in India.”

“Education begins at home. It is our responsibility to teach our children about values that respects others irrespective of their social status, religion, creed or colour. Our Constitution is one of the most liberal and progressive in the world, but it will have meaning if we as citizens of India live by the values enriched in it,” Pathak added.

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