The railway ministry chose social reformer and Padma Bhushan recipient Dr Bindeshwar Pathak to become the brand ambassador for their cleanliness programme because of the exceptional work he has done in the field of cleanliness. He established Sulabh International Social Service Organisation in 1970. Today, Sulabh is working in 26 states, four union territories and 534 districts and it has 1,687 branches across the country. Dr Pathak invented the eco-friendly and economically affordable Two-Pit- Pour-Flush toilet. It made the impossible job of extending toilets in every household easier. Sulabh has constructed personal toilets in more than 1.5 million rural households. Another 54 million toilets have been constructed on the lines of Sulabh’s technology so far. More than 8,500 community Sulabh toilets have been constructed across the country.
With the remarkable efforts of Dr Pathak and Sulabh International, now over 15 million people use Sulabh toilets every day. Six hundred forty villages have been declared scavenging free and the scavengers have been re-established in mainstreams society. Bringing revolutionary changes in society, Dr Pathak has been felicitated with many national and global awards. The government of India awarded him Padma Bhushan, the country’s third highest civilian award, way back in 2003. He was also awarded with ‘Indra Gandhi Priyadarshani Puraskar’ for promoting national unity, integration and brotherhood, ‘Energy Globe Award’, ‘The Dubai International Award’, ‘Stockhome Water Prize’ in 2009 and ‘The Legend of Planet Award’ by French senate in 2013. The New York City mayor declared 14 April 2016 as ‘Dr Bindeshwar Pathak day’ to appreciate his contributions to the society. Working as a social reformer since 1968, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak has over five decades of experience in the field. He will most certainly make the dream of ‘Swachh Rail – Swachh Bharat’ a reality. Sulabh International is taking care of the widows of Vrindavan, Varanasi and some in Uttarakhad, bringing some joy back to their otherwise gloomy lives.