New Delhi: Aug 15 Sulabh International founder and social activist Bindeshwar Pathak, a pioneer in building public toilets, died at AIIMS here due to a cardiac arrest on Tuesday (August 15), according to a close aide. The aide said 80-year-old Dr. Pathak hoisted the national flag at the Sulabh International headquarters in the morning on the occasion of Independence Day and collapsed soon after.
While the aide said Dr. Pathak breathed his last at AIIMS, a source at the hospital said he was declared brought dead at 1:42 pm. The cause of death was cardiac arrest, according to Dr. Pathak’s aide.
Sulabh International is a social service organisation that works to promote human rights, environmental sanitation, waste management and reforms through education.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation said,
Founder Sulabh Sanitation, Social Reform and Human Rights Movement, Dr. Bindeshwar Dr. Pathak is no more. He died of cardiac arrest at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. He was rushed to the hospital after he complained of uneasiness in the midst of Independence Day celebrations at the campus of Sulabh, Palam-Dabri Road, New Delhi.
Sulabh founder Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak is no more pic.twitter.com/vhAR3eQCJv
— Sulabh International Social Service Organisation (@SulabhIntl) August 15, 2023
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled Dr. Pathak’s demise. PM Modi said in a post on X and shared two pictures of him with Dr. Pathak,
The passing away of Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak Ji is a profound loss for our nation. He was a visionary who worked extensively for societal progress and empowering the downtrodden. Bindeshwar Ji made it his mission to build a cleaner India. He provided monumental support to the Swachh Bharat Mission. 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 passing away of Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak Ji is a profound loss for our nation. He was a visionary who worked extensively for societal progress and empowering the downtrodden.
Bindeshwar Ji made it his mission to build a cleaner India. He provided monumental support to the… pic.twitter.com/z93aqoqXrc
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 15, 2023
Dr. Pathak founded Sulabh International in 1970 with a vision to eradicate open defecation and unclean public toilets. The organisation’s pioneering efforts led to the development of the revolutionary Sulabh toilet, a low-cost, eco-friendly solution that has revolutionised sanitation practices across the nation. Sulabh toilet revolutionised sanitation practices, providing millions with access to clean and dignified restroom facilities.
His vision extended beyond technology, encompassing a broader mission of eradicating the stigma associated with manual scavenging and uplifting the lives of those who had long been relegated to the fringes of society.
Through his determined advocacy and innovative initiatives, Dr. Pathak successfully raised awareness about the importance of proper sanitation and hygiene, contributing significantly to disease prevention and improved public health. In India, the name Sulabh is synonymous with public restrooms.
Dr. Pathak also started the Sulabh initiative for widows that was meant to emancipate them from all kinds of deprivations, restrictions and humiliations. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.