Cleanliness is next to Godliness and the father of the nation – Mahatma Gandhi had practiced this dictum into practice during his life. He attached great importance to the cleanliness and sanitation and made it a peoples movement rather than a political campaign like the Swach Bharat campaign of Narindera Modi .This year the nation is celebrating 150th birth centenary of the great Indian and the father of the nation and it will be the true and befitting tribute to him, if we make sincere efforts for sanitation and cleanliness. We also have to abolish untouchability with lock, stock and barrel. The efforts are also needed to abolish discrimination with an important section of the society called scavengers but who still carry human excreta. Though manual scavenging has been banned but it still exists at various places in India. We have to restore dignity and honor to this section of our society.
There should be no discrimination with this segment of our society. We should make sincere efforts in this direction and emancipation of scavengers should not only be our motto but should be put into action. Sulab International is the voluntary organization which is working tirelessly for emancipation of scavengers. In fact this organization is also working for the eradication of untouchability and social discrimination against scavengers who are condemned to cleaning and carrying human excreta manually. Sulab International was formed in the year 1970 by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak and it is dedicated to the Gandhian thought and philosophy in the field of sanitation and emancipation of scavengers. Sulab International along with Akshya Patra Foundation has caused a silent revolution in the field of sanitation. It has rightly qualified for the International Gandhi Peace Prize.
Thus 2016 peace prize was conferred on this voluntary body for its excellent work in the field of sanitation and emancipation of scavengers. It has a work force of 6O, OOO volunteers in 26 states and 4 union terrorties. The neighboring countries of Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh have invited it for help in their sanitation programs. It has achieved success in the field of to cost-effective sanitation, liberation of scavengers, social transformation, curbing of environmental pollution and above all development of non -conventional sources of energy. Two pit, pour-flush compost flush known as ‘Sulabshauchalaya’ is its invention. It is socially acceptable, economically feasible, and technologically appropriate and does not require scavengers to clean the pits. Such sulab toilets were made in 1.2 million houses all over India.
This lead to liberation of over a million of scavengers’ .Construction and maintenance of public toilets at public places is a big feat of sulab International. These toilets were also constructed in slums on pay and use basis. So for it has constructed over 8ooo such public toilets in India and has constructed 200 biogas plants all over the country. Production of biogas from public toilets and recycling through simple and convenient method is a major breakthrough in the field of sanitation and health. This Organization has been closely working with the national agencies like NBO,CBRI,HUDCO and for Ministries of Housing and urban poverty alleviation, social justice and empowerment, rural development, Government of India and All India Institute of hygiene and public health, Kolkata. Sulab’s two pit pour-flush toilet technology innovatively designed and modified over the years has been evaluated by many international agencies like the UNDF/WORLD BANK,UNICEF and WHO and recommended for global adoption. It has been able to restore human rights and dimity to more than a million scavengers and set up about 1.5 million household
There are 60000 volunteers working with Sulab that includes technocrats, managers. Scientists, engineers, social scientists, doctors. To fulfill the dream of Mahatma Gandhi, we should help the deprived and exploited sections of the society to join the mainstream. It takes 30 years maintenance guarantee for the toilet complexes constructed by it. According to its founder Dr Bindeshwer Pathak, ”We are working for the last 50 years to fulfill the dream of Mahatma Gandhi. His dream was to help the deprived and the exploited sections of the society to join the mainstream. We are working in the same direction and we are hopeful to get success. Our campaign for sanitation has reached all nooks and corners of the country. The announcement of the award has doubled our zeal and we would now work faster in coming days. In short Sulab is working hard to restore the dignity of the scavengers all over India and its success story in this regard is an open book to read.
The dignity to scavengers