Bandeshwar Pathak: ‘Toiletman of India’, promoter of public toilets

Pathak once said that after visiting Madame Tussauds, he thought of setting up a toilet museum. The museum is often considered one of the strangest museums in the world, but it chronicles his journey that began in the 1970s, when he followed Mahatma Gandhi’s path to cleanliness. And decided to help the people from the lower strata of the society. pick on

Bandishwari Pathak, the founder of public toilets in the country, is known as the ‘Toilet Man of India’. He made toilets a part of public discourse years before the Swachh Bharat Mission. However, for this he also faced ridicule from many people including his father-in-law. Pathak once said that his father-in-law felt he had ruined his daughter’s life because he could not tell what his son-in-law did for a living. Pathak died of a heart attack shortly after the flag hoisting on Tuesday. He founded Silbha in 1970, which became synonymous with public toilets and soon became a movement to stop open defecation. Pathak, an activist and social worker was called by many as the ‘Sanitation Santa Claus’. He was born in village Rampur Baghel in Vaishali district of Bihar and is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.

After college and a few odd jobs, he joined the Bhangi Mukti Cell of the Bihar Gandhi Centenary Celebration Committee in 1968. He acquired a new identity when he traveled across the country and lived with manual scavengers as part of his PhD thesis. He founded Solabh International Social Service Organization in 1970, combining technological innovation with humanitarian principles. The organization works to promote human rights, environmental sanitation, non-conventional energy sources, waste management and social reform through education. Pathak’s design three decades ago to connect accessible toilets to fermentation plants to produce biogas has now become synonymous with sanitation in developing countries around the world.

A special feature of Pathak’s project was that apart from producing odorless biogas, it also released clean water rich in phosphorus and other elements that are important components of organic fertilizers. Their cleaning movement ensures cleanliness and prevents the emission of greenhouse gases. The technology is now being rolled out to South Africa to bring these facilities to rural communities. A Padma Bhushan awardee, Pathak has also been honored with the Energy Globe Award, Dubai International Award, Stockholm Water Prize, Legend of the Planet Award from the French Senate in Paris and other honours. Pope John Paul II in 1992 awarded Dr. Pathak with the International St. Francis Prize for the Environment and said, “You are helping the poor.”

In the year 2014, he was honored with the Sardar Patel International Award for outstanding work in the field of social development. In April 2016, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio proclaimed April 14, 2016 as Bandeshwar Readers’ Day. On 12 July 2017, Pathak’s book ‘The Making of a Legend’ on the life of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was launched in New Delhi. The year 1974 was a milestone in the history of sanitation when 24-hour bathing, showering and urinal facilities (called salubh toilet complexes) were introduced on a pay-to-use basis with attendants. Now Slabh operates and maintains toilets in railway stations and cities across the country. India has more than 9,000 community public toilet complexes in 1,600 cities. These campuses have electricity and 24 hours water supply. The campus has separate spaces for men and women.

Customers are charged a small fee to use the toilet and shower facilities. Some accessible campuses also provide bathing facilities, safe houses, telephones and basic health services. These complexes are well liked by both public and authorities for their cleanliness and good management. The pay-and-use system ensures self-sufficiency without burdening the public exchequer or local bodies. Campuses have also greatly improved the living environment. Solabh had a ‘turnover’ of Rs 490 crore in FY 2020. Salbah not only runs toilets but also runs several vocational training institutes where free computers, typing and shorthand, electrical trade, woodworking, leather craft, diesel and petrol sweepers, their children and other weaker sections of the society are provided. It is provided free of cost to individuals. It is given in various trades like engineering, tailoring, sugarcane furniture making.

From setting up an English medium school in Delhi for the children of manual scavengers to providing financial support to orphaned widows in Vrindavan or setting up a toilet museum in the national capital, Pathak and his cohorts have always worked for the underprivileged. What is it. . Pathak once said that after visiting Madame Tussauds, he thought of setting up a toilet museum. The museum is often considered one of the strangest museums in the world, but it chronicles his journey that began in the 1970s, when he followed Mahatma Gandhi’s path to cleanliness. And decided to help the people from the lower strata of the society. pick on

abandonment: Prabhasakshi has not edited this news. This news is published by PTI’s oral feed.



(tags to translate) Toilet Man of India Bandeshwar Pathak

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