Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, a charitable, social, welfare, philanthropic and non-profit voluntary organisation founded in 1970 by Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, is dedicated to Gandhian ideology of emancipation of scavengers. Sulabh has been working for the removal of untouchability and social discrimination against human scavengers, a section of Indian society condemned to clean and carry human excreta manually. Sulabh is noted for achieving success in the field of cost-effective sanitation, liberation of scavengers, social transformation of society, prevention of environmental pollution and development of non-conventional sources of energy. Recently Dr. Pathak has taken up the cause of the widows whose condition in the Indian society is as of the untouchables.
Q&A with Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak
What is the kindest act you’ve ever witnessed?
My mother used to give loans to the people for their work even though she did not have money of her own. She used to go to others to get money as a loan and then pass it on to the needy. My mother used to say, “Never disappoint a person if he or she comes to you for any help.” I have seen numerous acts of kindness of my mother and that is why I have transformed the lives of millions of untouchables and helped the widows of India.
What is the key to changing the world?
Love, compassion, helping and feeling for others, to view problems of others from their angle, wiping tears from their eyes and putting a smile on their faces. There are about 7 billion people in the world, half of whom are poor and marginalized and half are prosperous; if the boundaries between the nations are removed and one person helps another, the entire world will be prosperous and all will lead joyous lives.
To learn more about Sulabh, visit sulabhinternational.org
Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak is the founder of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement in New Delhi, India.