Justice TS Thakur had thought Sulabh is only about sanitation. He was amazed with the sheer volume and quality of social reform as well tech work Dr Pathak has inspired
“I first met Dr Pathak when he came to give me a book. I asked him whether he could do something in my area as well. Because my village is also in the mountains and falls under heavy snowfalls. Many elderly women face problems going to the toilets there as well. I said it would be great if you could do something about it. On this, Dr Pathak told me: “First form a society like I have done. I said it would take a lot of time forming the society and then finally doing something productive. I asked him to do something about it himself. I am thankful that he went to the village 800 kms away personally.
“It’s a struggle just getting there. First the tough mountain roads and secondly, people avoid going to Kashmir because of the insurgency in the area. But Dr Pathak went to my village Ukhral, met the people there and talked to them. He was not there to ask for votes. He opened up two centres there including a computer and sewing centre for girls and constructed several toilets. Today people tell me they themselves constructed toilets after they saw the ease it provided to others. After his visit there everyone has built a toilet in their houses. They now realise the ease it provides, especially to women. It’s a huge service for humanity and for that I will always be thankful to him. Looking at Dr Pathak’s work, his acceptability, reliability and respect in the society has further increased.”
These are words of the Chief Justice of India, Tirath Singh Thakur. Visiting Sulabh campus to meet his villagers from Ukhral, Justice Thakur told how Sulabh International founder Dr Bindeshwar Pathak contributed in changing the condition and path of
Visiting Sulabh campus on December 31, 2016, CJI TS Thakur appreciated
Dr Pathak and Sulabh International’s work. He also met people from his village Ukhral and learned about the sanitation and vocational training programme by Sulabh International.
At Sulabh campus, Justice Thakur was welcomed through Indian traditions. The melodious sound of conch and Mantras invited him to the red carpet. The entire campus was decorated with colourful flowers. Sulabh International founder Dr Bindeshwar Pathak and his wife Amola Pathak welcomed him with garlands and shawls. Greeting Justice Thakur, Dr Pathak also presented him with a citation, Madhubani Painting and a copy of Ram Charit Manas. Some retired IAS officers, Sulabh beneficiaries from Calcutta and Sulabh volunteers all traditionally welcomed the judge. The liberated women scavengers of Alwar and Tonk, widows of Vrindavan and Varanasi and the beneficiaries of open defecation free Hirmathla (Haryana) also greeted the justice.
Justice Thakur saw the Sulabh Swachhta Rath, Drinking Water ATM, Sulabh Health Centre, public toilets, biogas plants, biogas lamps, kitchen-based biogas, biogas generators, effluent treatment plant, Sulabh Public School, industrial training center, Sulabh sanitary production unit, Sulabh Slum Welfare Unit, Sulabh International Museum of Toilets and various toilet models including Sulabh ‘two-pit pour-flush’ composting toilet model. During his expedition, justice Thakur was amazed and said, I believed Sulabh only worked for sanitation and hygiene but I see you work for much more than that. On his arrival justice Thakur also participated in the Sulabh Prayer and Sulabh Anthem. He also appreciated the Sulabh Anthem saying the anthem in really pleasurable.
Coming from Jammu’s icy terrains, about 800 km from Delhi, Rubina of Ukhral had tears of joy in her eyes, and Rajia too was thrilled. The reason behind their excitement and joy was to meet this eminent personality belonging from their own village and the chance to go around the city with him. They said they were in Delhi for the first time. Justice Thakur also had similar contented expressions. He was delighted meeting his villagers. He not only talked to the villagers in their local language but also invited them all for tea at his residence
widows of Vrindavan
The happy faces and joyful women at the Sulabh campus was the evidence of the successful rescue of Vrindavan’s widows as insisted by the Supreme Court in 2012. Justice Thakur asked them of their well being and the services Sulabh was providing them. Watching the widows joyful justice said, “It delights me watching them smile and listening their ‘Radhe Radhe’. You all are happy and are being taken care of, this is a huge achievement. Taking your responsibility, Dr Pathak has set an example for the rest of us.”
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