Bindeshwar Pathak

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Bindeshwar Pathak
Bindeshwar Pathak.jpg
Born (1943-04-02) April 2, 1943 (age 73)
Rampur,[1] Bihar
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

Bindeshwar 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 pioneering in social reform, especially in the field of sanitation and hygiene. He received various national and international awards for his work with this organization.


Bindeshwar 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 Hygiene[edit]

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 Honours[edit]

Bindeshwar Pathak is a Padma Bhushan recipient from the Government of India.[5] In 2003, his name was added to the Global 500 Roll of Honour. Bindheshwar Pathak also received the Energy Globe Award,[6] 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.[7] Antarrashtriya Bhojpuri Samman was awarded to him in the 4th world Bhojpuri Sammelan in Port Louis.[8]

In January, 2011, Dr Pathak was invited to deliver a lecture at the Cambridge Union,a debating society of the University of Cambridge.[9] 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.[10]

In April 2016, Mayor of New York (Mr. Bill De Blasio), declared 14 April 2016 as DR. BINDESHWAR PATHAK DAY.

In recognition of the pioneering work done by Sulabh International Social Service Organization, Dr. Pathak has received the following awards:

  1. CNN-News 18 Indian of the Year, 2015 Outstanding Achievement Award, 2016 by CNN India
  2. Humanitarian Award of the New York Global Leaders Dialogue, 2016
  3. Public Health Champions Awards by World Health Organisation (WHO), 2016
  4. Goyal Peace Prize by Kurukshetra University, 2015
  5. Amity Lifetime Achievement Award by Amity University, 2015
  6. Lord Baden Powell National Award, 2015
  7. Sardar Patel Award-2014 by Sardar Vallabh bhai Patel Foundation, 2015
  8. Lifetime Achievement Award for Sanitation for All: Toilet First by India CSR Group, 2015
  9. Vivekanand Seva Samman Award by Shree Burra bazar Kumar sabha Pustakalaya, 2015
  10. Power Thinkers Award for services to humanity by Personality Plus International, 2015
  11. Lifetime Achievement Award for contribution in the field of Sanitation by Lucknow Book Fair, 2015
  12. Mother Teresa Memorial Award by Indian Development Foundation (IDF), 2014
  13. The 'NGO Leadership and Excellence Award' by the World CSR Congress, 2014
  14. The International Banga Moni Award by the Micheal Madhusudan Academy, 2014
  15. The Late Madan Mohan Verma Smriti Sammaan by the Journalist Association of Electronic and Print, 2014
  16. National Health Care Promotion Award by Heart Care Foundation of India, 2013
  17. Lifetime Achievement Award by ABP News, 2013
  18. Lifetime Achievement Award by Rotary Club of Madras, 2013
  19. LEGENDE DE LA PLANETE Congres Fondateur Jeux Ecologiques at UNESCO, Paris, 2013
  20. Lifetime Achievement Award by V World Aqua Congress, 2011
  21. Bhagirath Alankaran by Ganga Seva Nidhi, 2011
  22. National Award for Innovations in the Services for the Urban Poor by The India Urban Space Foundation, 2010
  23. Bihar Ratna Award, 2010
  24. Sanitation Visionary Award by World Toilet Organisation, 2009
  25. FACE Award 2008 by FACE magazine, 2009
  26. Sat Paul Mittal Award, 2009
  27. Vishwa Bhojpuri and Indian Diaspora Sammaan, 2009
  28. Stockholm Water Prize, Sweden, 2009
  29. Inter-governmental Renewable Energy Organisation Award (IREO), New York, USA, 2009
  30. Hall of Fame Award by World Toilet Organisation at World Toilet Summit, Macau, China, 2008
  31. Rashtriya Gaurav Award by Citizen Forum of Human Rights, 2008
  32. National Energy Globe Award by Energy Globe, Brussels, Belgium, 2008
  33. Hindi Vachaspati Award by Rashtriya Hindi Parisad, 2008
  34. Aryavart Shikhar Samman by The Indian Nation Publication, 2007
  35. Bharat Gaurav Award by Citizen Forum of Human Rights, 2007
  36. Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in the Social Sector by Dr. P. N. Singh Foundation, 2007
  37. Maharana Uday Singh Award, 2006
  38. One India One People Foundation Award, 2006
  39. International Human Rights’ Award, 2006
  40. Sakshi Bharat Award, 2006
  41. AIWEFA Platinum Jubilee Award 2005
  42. Good Corporate Citizen Award, 2005
  43. Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar, 2003
  44. Scroll of Honour by UN-Habitat, Rio-de-Janeiro (Brazil), 2003
  45. Global 500 Roll of Honour Award by UNEP, Beirut (Lebanon), 2003
  46. Dubai International Award for ‘Best Practices for Improving the Living Environment’ by UNCHS, Dubai, 2000
  47. Samaj Ratna Award, 1999
  48. Distinguished Leadership Award, 1997
  49. Michael Madhusudan Dutt Award, 1997
  50. Babu Jag jivan Ram Award for Abolishing Scavenging, 1997
  51. Global Urban Best Practice by United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS), Istanbul, 1996
  52. Limca Book of Records’ ‘Man of the Year Award’, 1995
  53. Vikas Ratna Award, 1995
  54. Manav Sewa Puraskar, 1995
  55. NRI Gold Award, 1994
  56. Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award, 1994
  57. Ratna Shiromani Award by India International Society for Unity, 1993
  58. Rotary International Spectra-93, Par Excellence Award for Protection of Environment, 1993
  59. Anne Mukhopadhya Award for Social Work, 1992
  60. Shahid Bhup Singh Award for Social Work, 1992
  61. Bombay Citizen’s Award, 1992
  62. Dr. Pinnamaneni and Smt. Seethadevi Foundation Award, 1992
  63. The International Saint Francis Prize for the Environment
  64. “Canticle of All Creatures”, Assisi, Italy, 1992
  65. National Citizens’ Award, 1991
  66. Padma Bhushan, 1991
  67. Civic Betterment Award, 1990–91
  68. Builders’ Information Bureau Award, 1990
  69. Prabandhak Mahan Muzzaffarpur, 1990
  70. K.P. Goenka Memorial Award, 1984


  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. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  6. ^ Sulabh founder gets Energy Globe Award. Retrieved August 14, 2007.
  7. ^ French Senate honours Sulabh founder with 'Legend of Planet' award
  8. ^ Dr Bindeshwar Pathak get vishwa bhojpuri samman
  9. ^ Special Correspondent (2010-12-13). "Sulabh founder invited to Cambridge". The Hindu. Retrieved 2013-05-05. 
  10. ^ London, Jan 22 (PTI) (2011-01-22). "Join me, Sulabh founder urges Cambridge students". Retrieved 2013-05-05. 

External links[edit]