I was listening to the CBC over breakfast yesterday and learned of Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak’s latest accolade. Dr. Pathak founded Sulabh International in 1970. Sulabh International is a social service organization which works to promote human rights, environmental sanitation, non-conventional sources of energy, waste management and social reforms through education.
The latest recipient of the Stockholm Water Prize, Dr. Pathak has been the leader in India’s growth and education on the importance of proper sanitation. The class system has allowed a certain unspoken solution to the countries waste management. The lower class, or “untouchables” have for centuries been tasked with the physical removal of excrement from the higher class homes. Waste management was simply a bucket, which when filled would be removed by hand by the lower class. According to Patak, 500,000 children die each year in India due to illness and disease associated with poor sanitation.
A true revolutionary, Dr. Pathak has recognized that to simply find a physical solution will not fix the problem. By educating the people and working to teach equality and human rights, Patak has begun laying the groundwork for a true reform. The biogas toilets are linked with fermentation plants.
The toilet besides producing odour-free bio-gas, 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.
Sources:[Sulabh International, Wikipedia.org, CBC radio]