Sulabh International founder and sanitation pioneer Bindeshwar Pathak passes away; PM Modi condoles

Sulabh International founder and sanitation pioneer Bindeshwar Pathak passes away; PM Modi condoles

NEW DELHI: Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International, passed away in AIIMS-Delhi on Tuesday due to cardiac arrest. He was 80.

According to some media reports, Pathak’s health suddenly deteriorated shortly after he hoisted the national flag at Sulabh International’s central office in Delhi, following which he was rushed to AIIMS.
He was a visionary, says PM Modi

Condoling the social activist’s death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Pathak’s passing away “is a profound loss for our nation”.

“He was a visionary who worked extensively for societal progress and empowering the downtrodden. Bindeshwar made it his mission to build a cleaner India. He provided monumental support to the Swachh Bharat Mission,” the PM said on X (formerly Twitter).
“During our various conversations, his passion towards Swachhata was always visible. His work will continue to inspire several people. My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones during this difficult time. Om Shanti,” the PM added.
Pathak’s Sulabh International has constructed nearly 1.3 million household toilets and 54 million government toilets based on an innovative design. Apart from construction of toilets, the organisation has led a movement to discourage manual cleaning of human waste.
All you need to know about the social activist:

  • Pathak established the Sulabh International Social Service Organization in 1970, combining technical innovation with humanitarian principles.
  • The organisation works to promote human rights, environmental sanitation, non-conventional sources of energy, waste management and social reforms through education.
  • The organisation has around 50,000 volunteers.
  • He made innovative use of biogas creation by linking Sulabh toilets to fermentation plants, he had designed over three decades ago and which are now becoming a byword for sanitation in developing countries all over the world.
  • His work is considered pioneering in social reform, especially in the field of sanitation and hygiene.
  • Pathak was the Brand Ambassador for Swachh Rail Mission of Indian Railways.
  • He received various national and international awards for his work with this organisation.
  • Pathak was presented with the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration, Academics and Management for the year 2017.
  • He was conferred with Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award in 1991.
  • In 2016, New York City declared April 14 as ‘Bindeshwar Pathak Day’ in recognition of the contributions made by him and his organisation for improving the lives of people engaged in the “most dehumanising situation”.

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