Last modified on 14 July 2014, at 20:37

Bindeshwar Pathak

Bindeshwar Pathak
Born April 2, 1943 (age 71)
Rampur,[1] Bihar, British India
Nationality Indian
Education M.A. (Sociology 1980), M.A. (English 1986), Ph.D. (1985), D.Litt. (1994)
Alma mater Patna University
Known for Founding Sulabh International
and social reform in India
Bindheshwar Pathak (Hindi: बिंदेश्वर पाठक) is an Indian sociologist. He is the founder of Sulabh International, an India-based social service organization which works to promote human rights, environmental sanitation, non-conventional sources of energy, waste management and social reforms through education. His work is considered one of the pioneer in social reform especially in the field of sanitation and hygiene. He received various national and international awards for his work with this organization.


Bindheshwar Pathak graduated in Sociology in 1964. He earned his master's degree in 1980 and his PhD in 1985, from the University of Patna.[2] A prolific writer and speaker, Pathak has authored several books, the most well-known of which is The Road to Freedom, and is a frequent participant in conferences on sanitation, health, and social progress around the world.

Movement for Sanitation and HygieneEdit

He first came to understand the plight of scavengers in 1968 when he joined the Bhangi-Mukti (scavengers’ liberation) Cell of the Bihar Gandhi Centenary Celebrations Committee. During that time, he traveled throughout India, living with scavenger families as part of his Ph.D. research. Drawing on that experience, he resolved to take action, not only out of sympathy for the scavengers but also in the belief that scavenging is a dehumanizing practice that would ultimately have a destructive impact on modern Indian society.
He established the Sulabh International Social Service Organization in 1970, combining technical innovation with humanitarian principles.[3][4] The organization works to promote human rights, environmental sanitation, non-conventional sources of energy, waste management and social reforms through education. The organization counts 50,000 volunteers. He has 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. One of the distinctive feature of Pathak's project lies in the fact that besides producing odour-free bio-gas, it also releases clean water rich in phosphorus and other ingredients which are important constituents of organic manure. His sanitation movement ensures cleanliness and prevents greenhouse gas emission.

Awards and HonoursEdit

Bindeshwar Pathak is a Padma Bhushan recipient from the Government of India. In 2003, his name was added to the Global 500 Roll of Honour. Bindheshwar Pathak also received the Energy Globe Award,[5] the Dubai International Award for Best Practices, and the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award for Environment. Stockholm Water Prize was awarded to him in year 2009.In June, 2013, he also received the Legend of Planet award from the French senate in Paris, ahead of World Environment Day.[6] Antarrashtriya Bhojpuri Samman was awarded to him in the 4th world Bhojpuri Sammelan in Port Louis.[7] In January, 2011, Dr Pathak was invited to deliver a lecture at the Cambridge Union,a debating society of the University of Cambridge.[8] The lecture was well received by the students where Dr Pathak urged the students to join voluntary work in the field of sanitation. Known for its debating culture, the Cambridge Union Society is the oldest student debating society in the world and Cambridge University's largest.[9]


  1. ^ "Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, A Profile". Sulabh International. Retrieved 12 Jun 2014.
  2. ^ Profile of a national crusader. Retrieved on August 14, 2007.
  3. ^ Indian Sanitation Innovator and Social Reformer. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  4. ^ Profile, Aims & Objectives. Retrieved on August 14, 2007.
  5. ^ Sulabh founder gets Energy Globe Award. Retrieved August 14, 2007.
  6. ^ French Senate honours Sulabh founder with 'Legend of Planet' award
  7. ^ Dr Bindeshwar Pathak get vishwa bhojpuri samman
  8. ^ Special Correspondent (2010-12-13). "Sulabh founder invited to Cambridge". The Hindu. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
  9. ^ London, Jan 22 (PTI) (2011-01-22). "Join me, Sulabh founder urges Cambridge students". Retrieved 2013-05-05.

External linksEdit