The founder of Sulabh International, a group committed to advancing human rights, environmental cleanliness, waste management, and educational reforms, Bindeshwar Pathak, died on Tuesday after suffering a heart attack.
As a way to reduce open defecation, Pathak was a pioneer in the development of communal restrooms. His actions were a great step for social progress and the promotion of public cleanliness.
He expressed discomfort during the Independence Day festivities at the Sulabh complex on Palam-Dabri Road in New Delhi. He was brought to AIIMS, according to a statement from Sulabh International.
According to reports, Pathak unfurled the national flag on Independence Day morning before passing out abruptly. People in his immediate vicinity then drove him to AIIMS Delhi. At 1:42 pm, the medical staff there proclaimed him dead.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences on Pathak’s passing and called him a visionary. The Prime Minister Modi expressed his sorrow on Pathak’s loss and praised his significant contributions to social advancement and the empowerment of neglected people in a message posted on X (previously Twitter).
“Bindeshwar Ji made it his goal to create a more hygienic India. He made a significant contribution to the Swachh Bharat Mission. He was always really passionate about Swachhata throughout our different chats. Many individuals will remain inspired by his work. My sincere sympathies are extended to his family and close friends at this trying time. Om Shanti,” he continued.
Bindeshwar Pathak: Who was he?
Bindeshwar Pathak is a Brahmin from the hamlet of Rampur Baghel in the Bihar region of Vaishali. He was deeply rooted in his ancestral tradition and had no plans of moving. He travelled from his Yogmaya Devi and Ramakant Pathak birthplace to have a great effect on society.
He traveled to Patna to continue his study at B.N. College, where he majored in sociology and received his diploma. Prior to a fresh opportunity beckoning, the Gandhi Centenary Committee in Patna, where he assumed the role of a committed volunteer, his first professional path led him to teaching.
According to the Sulabh International website, Pathak was profoundly committed to the empowerment of individuals who were disenfranchised by India’s caste-based system and drew inspiration from the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi. His efforts over the last five decades have been mostly directed on promoting the rights of manual scavengers, a group that is primarily made up of low-class women.
When Bhagdeo Singh “Yogi,” a member of the legislative assembly, was persuaded by Bindeshwar Pathak to write a letter to then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi outlining the hardship of manual scavengers, it was a turning point. Gandhi’s reaction, in which he promised to bring the chief minister’s personal attention to the issue, was a key step in bringing about change.
In the same year, a significant occurrence happened that strengthened his goal even more. Pathak received 500 rupees from a municipality official in Arrah to build two demonstration restrooms on its property. The authorities were profoundly affected by these restrooms, which finally resulted in the approval of a larger scheme for their wider deployment.