1968: Sulabh Technology

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak joined the liberation of scavengers’ cell of the Bihar Gandhi Centenary Celebration Committee in 1968 when he was entrusted with the task of finding out an alternative to scavenging. Dr. Pathak modified and developed a technology of two-pit pourflush toilet (popularly known as Sulabh Shauchalaya). He also succeeded in demonstrating the effectiveness of the two-pit pourflush toilet system. Today, engineers not only from India but even from the World Bank have accepted that the on-site excreta disposal toilet system is an alternative to scavenging, open-air defecation and unhygienic, unsafe systems of human waste disposal like trench and borehole latrines, in the developing countries of the world.

1970: Sulabh Organisation Registered

By the time Dr. Pathak found the alternative to scavenging, the Bihar Gandhi Centenary Celebration Committee was dissolved by the government. That year, he founded the non-profit making voluntary social organisation, Sulabh Shauchalaya Sansthan (now known as Sulabh International Social Service Organisation), to carry out the work of liberation of scavengers. Thus, the seeds of the Sulabh Sanitation Movement were sown in 1970. The mass movement by Dr. Pathak started spreading all over the country with a cadre of about 50,000 Sulabh volunteers, now working from right atop the mountain at Vaishno Devi, to deep down in South and in the farthest corners in the east and the west of the country.

1972: Catalytic Agent

After developing a technology, Dr. Pathak evolved a methodology which also spelt out how a non-profit making social organization could work as a catalytic agent between the government, local bodies and the beneficiaries. It was felt that the government alone could not liberate scavengers from the subhuman occupation. House-to-house contact and campaigns in local languages for their liberation were suggested as part of the methodology which was adopted by the Bihar Government. Later on it was adopted by many state governments. During the past 40 years, Dr. Pathak brought the scavengers’ liberation programme from the micro-level to the macro-level.

In 1973, he had put up just two Sulabh Shauchalayas for demonstration in the compound of the Arrah Municipality, a small town of Bihar. Since then Sulabh has converted about one million bucket latrines into Sulabh Shauchalayas throughout the country; and more than a million scavengers have been liberated and over 640 towns have been made scavenging-free.

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. Before 1974, public latrines in India were regarded as hell-holes. Nobody was able to find a solution to this problem. Dr. Pathak found one and, on that basis, over 7,500 public toilet complexes are being maintained absolutely clean, spick and span in 25 states and four Union Territories, in 1585 towns, including metropolitan cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. These Sulabh toilet complexes are used by over 15 million people a day.

1978: Historic 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 in Patna in 1978 on conversion of bucket latrines and liberation of scavengers. In this seminar, representatives from the Planning Commission, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Works and Housing, international agencies like WHO, UNICEF, World Bank, and the Secretaries and Chief Engineers of all the state governments participated. They all approved the Sulabh technology and methodology for adoption by individuals as well as institutions. And, thus the work of liberating scavengers and the maintenance of public latrines and baths started from Bihar to spread throughout the country in due course.

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. Under the scheme, implementation of the Protection of Civil Rights Act 1980-81, was taken up in two towns of Bihar, Biharsharif and Purnia. In 1981-82, two more towns of Bihar, Daltonganj and Chaibasa now in Jharkhand, were taken up. Later, the programme was moved on to other states. The state governments agreed to provide alternative employment to liberated scavengers and hence all of them got jobs. No one has become unemployed so far. The Ministry of Welfare, Government of India, later took charge of this programme.

1984: Biogas from Public Toilet

The first Sulabh public toilet-linked biogas plant was set up at Adalatganj, Patna. It produced electricity from biogas which was supplied to the 3 kms long Bailey Road, Patna. Now over 200 such biogas plants are in operation all over the country.

1985: Training and Rehabilitation

With the help of the Ministry of Welfare, Government of India, the Welfare Department, Government of Bihar, and the Bihar State Scheduled Castes Development Corporation, Sulabh started a training and rehabilitation programme for the wards of scavengers in different trades like shorthand, typing, motor driving, mechanics, masonry work, carpentry, canework, etc. A large number of children of scavengers have already been trained. This programme is being extended to cover the entire country. The programme was later expanded to include regular education and technical training.

1985: Technology Evaluation

The UNDP and the World Bank after evaluation of the Sulabh technology of the pour-flush 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. Pathak persuaded the Ministry of Welfare to give stipends to the wards of Muslim and Christian scavengers also for training and rehabilitation. Earlier, these were available only to Hindu scavengers. Without this, the wards of Muslim and Christian scavengers would have been left out and the movement for their liberation and rehabilitation would have suffered a setback.

1988: Scavengers in Temple

Dr. Pathak solved the problem of entry of Harijans into the Nathdwara Temple in Udaipur, Rajasthan, for prayers in 1988. The controversy of entering the temple had taken a serious turn and so many attempts, made by others, had failed. The situation became so serious that the then President of India, Mr. R. Venkataraman, wanted himself to lead Harijans into the temple. Even the political leaders and the state government officials had to go to the temple with police protection. This attracted Dr. Pathak’s attention who, with 100 scavengers and orthodox Vedic Maithil Brahmins, entered the Nathdwara Temple, offered prayers and recited Bhajans and Kirtans. The scavengers and the whole group took their meal together. This programme was performed without police protection. On return from the Nathdwara Temple, Dr. Pathak, along with the scavengers and the Vedic Brahmins, was given audience by Mr. R. Venkataraman, the then Vice-President, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma and the late Prime Minister, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. This act of Dr. Pathak was quite in line with Dr. Ambedkar’s who had led a group of Harijans to draw water from a public tank, Chodor Talen, at Mahad in Kolaba district of Maharashtra in 1927 and led another Satyagraha to establish the right of the untouchables to enter the famous temple of Kalaran in Nasik in 1930.

1989: Casteless Puja

On his return from Nathdwara, Dr. Pathak launched a campaign to help the Scheduled Castes offer prayers in temples and performing Puja at their homes by Vedic Brahmins. Also, he started common Puja and dining programmes where members of the Scheduled Castes did fasting, sat on the Puja and prepared ‘prasad’. They also prepared food for lunch or dinner. After the Puja was over, the ‘prasad’ and food were distributed by Scheduled Castes to all, including Vedic Brahmins, who also ate with them. This programme, which is continuing since then, has got wide acceptance.

1990: Social Upgradation of Scavengers

To improve the social status of scavengers in India, Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak launched a movement to socially upgrade them. This was a novel concept. There was a question mark as to whether after liberation, training and education, scavengers and their children will have upgraded status in society to be on par with the so-called upper-caste people. To socially upgrade the scavengers’ status in society, Sulabh started a social upgradation campaign, calling upon high-status family in society to ‘socially adopt’ a scavenger family who will be treated like family members. Association with these high-status people would raise the status of the scavengers. This programme took off very well. So far, 10,000 scavenger families have been ‘adopted’ by high status people, including judges, advocates, journalists, ministers and planners. Among them were the then Union Deputy Commerce Minister, Mr. Salman Khurshid, Planning Commission member Ms. Chitra Naik, Times of India Editor, Mr. Dilip Padgaonkar, and former Prime Minister, Mr. I.K. Gujral.

1992: Awareness Campaign

In February 1992, Sulabh organised a ‘National Seminar on Liberation and Rehabilitation of Scavengers’ in New Delhi in which Vice-Chancellors, professors, planners, and administrators passed a resolution to make it a people’s movement. The seminar was inaugurated by the former President of India, late Giani Zail Singh. Dr. Pathak regularly took such steps to create social awareness against unfounded beliefs and prejudices. He organised conferences, seminars, workshops, plays and folk dances on these themes. The attempt was to involve a large number of people from all walks of life in order to speed up the pace of the movement.

1992: Educate, Organise and Agitate

On the ‘educate, organise and agitate’ principle of Baba Ambedkar, Sulabh set up an English medium school in Delhi for the sons and daughters of scavengers wherein education was given in three principal areas: General and theoretical education, compulsory vocational education (knowledge of office management, shorthand, typing and computer training), and optional vocational education (intensive training in specific vocations) so that they may not have to wait in long queues for employment. This will also enable them to be self-employed or get jobs. Sixty per cent of the school’s enrolment was of scavengers’ children and the rest was from other families to visibly obliterate discrimination. This unique experiment was extended to other states also. The idea is: Education alone can empower the weak and poor.

1994: The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets

The first of its kind in the world, the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets was set up in Delhi. The museum, through artefacts, pictures, posters and other available materials, tells the story of the development of toilets through the ages. This is the star attraction at the Sulabh Service Centre, Mahavir Enclave, Palam, New Delhi.

1996: Duckweed Project

Sulabh demonstrated an eco-friendly low-cost technology for waste water treatment through duckweed. The technology, besides having low operational and maintenance costs, gives economic return in terms of pisciculture.

1997:  Sulabh Thermophilic Aerobic Composting (STAC)

A new technology for composting of biodegradable wastes, known as Sulabh Thermophilic Aerobic Composting (STAC) was developed in 1997. It requires only 8-10 days to degrade any biodegradable materials without churning.

1998: People’s Commission

Sulabh set up a People’s Commission on the Abolition of Scavenging. The then Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, inaugurated the commission at a function organised on November 26, 1998 to honour him with the Honest Man of the Year Award, 1997. Justice M.N. Venkatachalliah, former Chief Justice of India, and Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, was the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Commission.

2000: Sulabh Towards Villages

Sulabh Towards Villages, a national campaign to improve rural sanitation, was started in 2000.

2001: Training of Women

Sulabh started a country-wide programme for involvement of women in sanitation, health and hygiene.

2002: Sulabh Effluent Treatment (SET) Technology

Sulabh developed a new and convenient technology to make biogas plant effluents free from colour, odour and pathogen-free. The technology known as SET (Sulabh Effluent Treatment) lowers BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand) of effluent to less than 10 mg/l, making it suitable for agriculture, aquaculture or safe discharge into a river or any water body or cleaning of floors of public toilets.

2003: Sulabh University

Steps were taken to establish a Sulabh University of Sanitation; Compilation of Encyclopaedia on Sanitation has also started; WASH campaign launched in collaboration with the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, Switzerland; Started another Sulabh Vocational Training Centre for liberated scavengers (Nai Disha) at Alwar, Rajasthan. UNDP recognizes Sulabh technologies in its Human Development Report 2003; a Sulabh delegation visited Afghanistan to take up sanitation work.

2004: Members of The U.N. Millennium Project Task Force on Water and Sanitation Visit Sulabh Campus.

2005: Sulabh International Academy of Environmental Sanitation was Registered Under The Societies Registration Act 1860 by The Registrar, Government of Delhi.

23 professionals from 5 countries attended the ‘International Workshop on Sanitation Technologies’ organized by Sulabh International Academy of Environmental Sanitation in collaboration with UN-Habitat; Sulabh activities find mention in President APJ Abdul Kalam’s book ‘Mission India – A Vision for Indian Youth 2006’. UNDP re-recognizes Sulabh technologies in its Human Development Report. 24 professionals including representatives of UN-HABITAT covering 14 African countries attended the International Capacity Building Workshop, organized by Sulabh International Academy of Environmental Sanitation in collaboration with UN-HABITAT; Stanford University includes article on Sulabh – ‘That Gandhi may not be born again’ – in its curriculum and five public toilets with biogas plants were set up in Kabul, Afghanistan, with the financial support of the Government of India.

2007: World Toilet Summit 2007

Sulabh organized the World Toilet Summit 2007 in collaboration with the World Toilet Organization (WTO) in which representatives of 44 countries participated. And after the three-day conference, a Delhi Declaration was issued for a cleaner world; ‘Mission Sanitation–a fashion show for a cause’ was held at the Embassy of Bulgaria in New Delhi when the trainees of the Sulabh’s Nai Disha centre in Alwar assembled on the dais after walking the ramp with prominent Indian models, showcasing their talent.

2008: Liberated Scavengers of Alwar Visit New York

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) invited Sulabh International Social Service Organisation to host ‘Mission Sanitation’, a special cultural event in collaboration with UN-NGO-IRENE Network at the United Nations, New York, on July 2, 2008, to seek and raise awareness and accelerate the progress towards improved sanitation worldwide; A fashion show was organized where rehabilitated women scavengers, accompanied by prominent models wearing Indian garments embroidered by them, walked the ramp in the United Nations with great pride and grace. The liberated women scavengers also visited the Statue of Liberty at the New York harbour to declare their liberation from the subhuman, demeaning and humiliating profession of cleaning dry privies and physically carrying human excreta (night-soil) of others, to make a living for their families; and on coming back home, they paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at his Rajghat Samadhi, in New Delhi on July 15.

2008: The President Meets Liberated Scavengers

The Hon’ble President of India, Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, met Mrs. Usha Chaumar and other liberated scavengers at Rashtrapati Bhawan on July 25, 2008 on their return from New York. The President wished them a happy and prosperous new life, after being freed from age-old social prejudices. The President said that only after more scavengers are liberated Mahatma Gandhi’s dream would come true.

2008: Untouchables Enter Temple

The liberated women scavengers visited Jagannath temple in Alwar along with their families and the families of those in whose houses they had earlier cleaned bucket toilets and they all jointly performed Puja in the temple. This was followed by a community lunch in which all of them participated jointly. A history of sorts was created on December 21, 2008 when people witnessed an unprecedented event of common dining in Hazoori Gate colony of Alwar, where families of erstwhile untouchable scavengers use to live. That those who thought even the shadow of a scavenger befalling them will pollute them have now shared common dining is no less than achieving almost the impossible. Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar had dreamt of such a happening. Now, the dream has come true. This act helped to remove, to a considerable degree, social untouchability and discrimination from the caste-ridden Indian society: a shameful practice attached to 5,000 years of social prejudice. It was the beginning of lighting of a candle in the darkness and a first step in the journey of miles.

2009: Prof. Rajmohan Gandhi takes food with Liberated Scavengers

It was a proud moment for liberated ‘untouchable’ scavenger families from Alwar, Rajasthan, when they were invited to the national capital to share meals with families of ‘Upper Social Strata (of those in whose houses the scavengers had earlier cleaned toilets)’ in the presence of Prof. Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, on January 5, 2009. Some of them have earlier even travelled to New York for a special UN session programme.

2009: Stockholm Water Prize (2009)

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak was given the 2009 Stockholm Water Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. This is world’s most prestigious prize for outstanding achievements in water-related activities. The prize includes $ 150,000 and a crystal sculpture.

2009: Prime Minister of Swedish visits Sulabh Campus

Mr. John Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister of Sweden, one of the most advanced nations, accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Filippa Reinfeldt, visited its Sulabh campus in Mahavir Enclave on Palam-Dabri Road, on November 6, 2009 to see the operation and efficacy of the Sulabh technology believed to be a panacea for worsening sanitation problem and increasing environmental pollution all over the world.

2009: Ambassador of Belgium visits Sulabh Campus

His Excellency Jean M. Deboutte, Ambassador of Belgium and the Second Secretary, Mr. Jochen Anthierens, visited the Sulabh campus on December 21, 2009. Commenting on the Sulabh technology and the work this organisation is doing, the Belgian Ambassador to India, H.E. Mr. Jean M. Deboutte, says: “A unique and great project to give human dignity to the most underprivileged of the society. Your work deserves admiration and respect. It is an example for others!”

The Ambassador made these remarks in the Visitors’ Book after going round the Sulabh Campus and spending more than a couple of hours seeing operation of the Sulabh technology, the remarkable transformation it is bringing about in the lives of the scavengers and the bright prospects it is opening up for their children in the school the organisation runs as part of its programme.

2009: Alwar declared scavenging-free

The former Prime Minister, Smt. Indira Gandhi’s birth anniversary was celebrated on November 19, 2009 by Sulabh International Social Service Organisation as ‘World Toilet Day’ with a declaration by the erstwhile scavenging women that their home town of Alwar in Rajasthan, is now completely free from scavenging and they are able to move about like equal citizens without anybody ever looking at them with contempt.

2010: US Ambassador His Excellency Timothy J. Roemer and his wife Sally visited the Sulabh campus

On January 15, 2010, the headquarters of the Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement founded by Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak had rare visitors: Ambassador Timothy Johnston Roemer, United States’ Ambassador to India, and his charming wife Sally. Braving fog and morning chill, the couple had come to the Sulabh Campus on Palam-Dabri Road, New Delhi, to see the operation of the Sulabh technology, which has started ringing a bell everywhere now for it is believed to be a very effective tool in the armoury for combating the growing spectre of environmental pollution all over the world.

2010: Her Royal Highness Princess Mathilde of Belgium visited the Sulabh campus

Her Royal Highness Princess Mathilde of Belgium, wife of His Royal Highness Prince Philippe, first in line of succession to the throne of Belgium, visited the Sulabh Campus on March 23, 2010. The visit of Royal Highness was more of a message than an event which brings to our mind how diversity of cultures, languages, geography and traditions can be bonded together in harmonious relations to create a prosperous and happy society like that of Belgium which is a micro-Europe, representing in full measure, art, science, overseas adventure, industrialization, enlightenment and all else that have made Europe a continent of destiny.

2011: Liberated scavenger women have holy dip at Varanasi

The ghats on the western bank of the Ganges in Varanasi witnessed a unique event on June 20, 2011 : A group of 207 liberated scavenging women from Alwar, Tonk (Rajasthan) and Arrah (Bihar) had a dip in the holy river before proceeding to one of the most sacred of Hindu shrines, Kashi Vishwanath temple, for offering prayers before Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva. This was a remarkable happening, for according to the scriptures, the very glimpse of Jyotirlinga is a soul-cleansing experience that transforms life and puts it on the path of knowledge and Bhakti. All the liberated women were unanimous in their opinion that the Vishwanath temple pilgrimage was going to change their lives for good.

2011: Visit to Pushkar and Ajmer Sharif

From Varanasi they were taken to Rajasthan to visit the Holy Muslim shrine, Ajmer Sharif, which attracts devotees from all over the world. On the way to Ajmer Sharif the pilgrims visited Holy Pushkar. They offered their prayers at the Brahma temple there with usual zeal and fervour. it is said that this is probably the only temple dedicated to Brahma in India. Like most of the pilgrims at the shrine, the liberated women offered their chadars by way of homage to Hazrat  Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chisti (known as Khwaja Gharib Nawaz) credited with supernatural powers of bestowing happiness on all those who visit his dargah. The visiting pilgrims also went to another pious place at Dagmagpur, situated close to the Ajmer Sharif shrine.

2011: Visit to holy Church and Gurudwara

For the liberated women it was incredible that Father Franco Mulakkal, Auxiliary Bishop of Delhi, would address them when they visited Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi on June 29, 2011. A special prayer meeting was arranged where they offered their prayers. The Father blessed them and said God always helped those who were kind and noble, who did not harm anyone and who wished to stand on their own feet. All the pilgrims in the party led by Dr. Pathak were surprised when head of the Dharam Prachar Samiti invoked the blessings of Sikh Gurus when they visited the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara in New Delhi to offer their prayers. The head offered siropas to Dr. Pathak and all the pilgrims he was leading from shrine to shrine in order to foster in their minds love, compassion and brotherhood, stressing that there is no feeling of contempt or discrimination in houses of gods to whatever religion one belongs.

2012: Rewards for brides who revolted against lack of toilet

The Sulabh Sanitation Award of Rs. 5 lakh was given to Mrs. Anita Bai Narre for the tough stand she took for insisting on a toilet in her in-laws’ house. Anita was chosen for this award for refusing to defecate in the open. A tribal woman, she refused to live in her-in-laws’ house because there was no toilet in it, only to return after a week when a toilet was constructed. Anita set an example in her village, especially in Jheetudhana (Betul), Madhya Pradesh, her in-laws’ place. The people of Jheetudhana have now started planning and constructing toilet in every hutment for fear that more girls may refuse to live there. The bold step taken by Anita has made her brand ambassador of the sanitation programme.

2012: Three more runaway brides demand toilets

Vishnupur Khurd, a little known village in the Maharajganj district of Uttar Pradesh, shot into prominence on June 27, 2012 when three young brides who had deserted their husbands, returned to a grand welcome organised for them by Sulabh International Social Service Organisation. There was no end to their joy for not only were they reunited with their husbands, but also toilets had been specially built for them in their in-laws’ houses. It was the absence of toilets that had made them leave their husbands shortly after marriage, telling them, “if no toilets in your house, I cannot live with you.” Sulabh had also rewarded them with Rs. 2 lakh draft each, as a pat for their courageous stand to demand toilets.

2012: Rewarding brides who revolted against lack of toilet

  • Smt. Anita Bai Narre, a newly married bride who revolted against the lack of a toilet at her in-laws’ house was honoured by Sulabh International at Mavalankar Hall, New Delhi on March 19, 2012 and given an award for this bold step.
  • Mrs. Priyanka Bharti, Mrs. Priyanka and Mrs. Kumari Jyoti, newly wed brides from Uttar Pradesh who also revolted against lack of toilet in their in-laws’ place being awarded by Sulabh International at a function held in village Vishnupur Khurd, District Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh on June 28, 2012.

Sulabh takes up the cause of the widows of Vrindavan

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India directed the National Service Legal Authority (NALSA) to contact Sulabh to find out whether they could come forward to help the widows living in four government shelters in Vrindavan. Consequently, Dr. Pathak and his organization Sulabh has been working amongst the widows of Vrindavan providing them succor and relief since 2012. Sulabh has been substantially involved since then both in terms of financial help and also uplifting the lives and general conditions of the widows of Vrindavan. It is providing a monthly stipend of Rs 2000/- to nearly 800 widows per month, medical and ambulance facilities, giving them vocational training in garland making, tailoring,  agarbatti making to make them self-reliant. The widows are also being taught English, Hindi and Bengali. To bring cheer and happiness in their lives, Sulabh celebrated the festivals of Holi, Durga Puja, Diwali and Christmas with them and has also taken them on regular excursions to Delhi, Kolkata, Agra etc.

The high point came when these widows of Vrindavan met the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and tied Rakhi on his hands.

2013: National Conference on Sociology of Sanitation

National Conference on Sociology of Sanitation, organized by Sulabh International Centre for Action Sociology in collaboration with Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, was held at Mavalankar Auditorium, New Delhi on January 28 and 29, 2013. Dr. Pathak gave his Theory of Sociology of Sanitation, “Sociology of sanitation is a scientific study to solve the problems of society in relation to sanitation, social deprivation, water, public health, hygiene, ecology, environment, poverty, gender equality, welfare of children and empowering people for sustainable development and attainment of philosophical and spiritual knowledge to lead a happy life and to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Life-Building Support To Calamity Ravaged People in  Kedarnath

  • In the Kedarnath deluge, Deoli-Gramsabha village was identified as the worst sufferer. Dr. Pathak launched the Sulabh Sahayata Yojana mainly for the young and middle-aged women from Deoli many of whom had become widows. Sulabh is giving a monthly stipend and other facilities to the sufferers, mainly the widows and the old people.
  • Baby Sukanya was barely two months old when she lost her father in Kedarnath’s devastating deluge. Dr. Pathak has adopted her as his grand-daughter and has also ensured her life time care and upbringing.
  • Sulabh set-up a Vocational Training Centre at Deoli-Bhanigram village, where training is imparted in tailoring to the women and computer education is given to the children.

Miss Universe in Sulabh

2012 Miss Universe Ms. Olivia Frances Culpo, visited the Sulabh campus and interacted with the liberated untouchable scavengers and also saw the various technologies invented by Dr. Pathak.

2014 : BBC Horizons has declared Sulabh technologies as one of the five unique inventions of the world. This has been featured on the BBC Horizons programme telecast on 27-10-2013 and 30-03-2014.

Three days International Toilet Festival was organized by Sulabh on the occasion of the World Toilet Day. Various programmes under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan were held including the launch of the Sulabh Swachhata Rath. Also displayed was the largest model of the toilet.

Toilet construction in Nepal Sulabh has signed an agreement for construction of toilets at Pashupati Nath Temple and other places in the neighbouring country of Nepal.

January 5, 2015

Hon’ble Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment visited the Sulabh campus and saw the activities, the various Sulabh technologies and also interacted with untouchables, widows and school children. In his speech he said that in the Sulabh campus he felt as if he was in Heaven.

Sulabh Purified Drinking Water

The Sulabh Purified Drinking Water is the latest initiative from Sulabh. Impure water from the rivers, ponds, water bodies and taps is purified by the Sulabh technologies and becomes safe for human consumption. Sulabh has installed water treatment plants to make the Sulabh Purified Drinking Water at three sites in West Bengal, namely Madhusudankati (24 Parganas, near Bangladesh border), Mayapur and Murshidabad. Raw water is drawn from the river Ganga in Mayapur and Murshidabad, while in Madhusudankati it is taken from a local pond. After its treatment at the Sulabh Water Treatment Plant, the water from the river/pond becomes purified and absolutely safe for drinking. Sulabh is bottling this water which is known as Sulabh Safe Drinking Water which is available for Rs. 0.50 paise per litre. At the entrance of Sulabh Campus it is also available in the Sulabh Water ATM.

Utouchability No More (April 13, 2015)

Hon’ble Shri Rajnath Singh, Union Minister of Home Affairs, shared meal with the erstwhile untouchable scavengers on the occasion of the National Function ‘Untouchability No More’ organized by Sulabh to mark the 150th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar. On this occasion the families of the higher caste and untouchable scavengers also exchanged greetings and ate from each other hands. This was the landmark occasion held for the first time.

April 8, 2015

Dr. Pathak was invited as a main Speaker by the British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS) at the University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom. He spoke on ‘Sanitation and Women’s Rights in India’ and was also accompanied by an erstwhile untouchable scavenger Mrs. Usha Chaumar, who is also President of Sulabh International Social Service Organisation.

BBC World Programme: ‘BBC Impact’

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak and former untouchable scavenger, Mrs. Usha Chaumar was specially invited and interviewed on the BBC World News channel on 9th April, 2015. The programme known as BBC Impact was compered by the world famous television host and commentator Ms. Yalda Hakim. She referred to Dr. Pathak as ‘Mr. Sanitation’ for his efforts in bringing about a change in the sanitation scenario in India.

August 2015

His Excellency Mr. Richard Rahul Verma, US Ambassador to India visited the Sulabh Campus on August 13, 2015 to observe and appreciate the successful technologies and social change programmes.

Hon’ble Mr. Phil Scanlan, Chairman, New York Global Leaders Dialogue, Harvard Club, USA and Ms. Pam Kwatra, Executive Board Member, New York Global Leader Dialogue, Harvard Club, USA, toured Varanasi and New Delhi on 11-13th October, 2015 and interacted with hundreds of liberated untouchable scavengers, widows, community women and activists and professionals of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement. During their stay in New Delhi, they also addressed scores of media professionals at Hotel Taj Palace.

October 2015

His Excellency Dr. Sabit Subasic, Bosnia and Herzegovina Ambassador to India, His Excellency Mr. Andrés Barbé Gonzales, Ambassador of the Republic of Chile to India, His Excellency Mr. Georges de La Roche Du Ronzet, Ambassador of the Republic of Guatemala to India and His Excellency Mr. Vladimir Maric, Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to India, visited the Sulabh Campus on October 27, 2015.

2015 : Holy Ganga, India’s Prime minister and Dr. Pathak

The stairs at Assi Ghat of the holy city Varanasi were covered with dirty mud. Common visitors and pilgrims could not use the Ghat. In October, 2014, the Hon’ble Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi started a cleaning campaign digging the mud himself with a spade. The very next day the district magistrate of Varanasi approached Dr. Pathak with a request to get the entire Assi Ghat cleaned up. Though it was an enormous task, but Dr. Pathak accepted to perform it. On 8th November, 2014, Sulabh initiated the work and in a record time of less then four months cleaned all the 52 stairs of the Ghat thoroughly. The Ghat was opened for all on February 22, 2015. Now Ganga Aarti takes place there at 5:00 a.m. along with Yoga Camp and Hawan. Several cultural programmes are held there in the evenings. The Ghat has became a visiting place for the tourists as well as for shooting of films. Deluxe Modern Sulabh Public Toilets have been built there. Now Assi Ghat has became a holy place that it had been in the past as well as a tourist place of interest.

On 2nd October, 2015, Sulabh was awarded with ‘Safaigiri Award’ by India Today Group in the category of ‘Cleanest Ghat’ of the country. On behalf of Sulabh, its President Mrs. Usha Chaumar received the award from Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.