Sulabh International founder, Bindeshwar Pathak, passed away on Tuesday (15 August) at the age of 80 due to a cardiac arrest.
Pathak experienced chest pain while independence day celebrations were in progress at the Sulabh campus in New Delhi.
He was thereafter being rushed to AIIMS emergency when he suffered a cardiac arrest around 1.30 pm.
His body is currently being kept in the AIIMS mortuary.
In 2016, Pathak received a rare honour when New York City declared 14 April as 'Bindeshwar Pathak Day'. This recognition was given to acknowledge his contributions as a social activist and the founder of Sulabh International.
His efforts have significantly improved the lives of people who face the "most dehumanising situation."
Through innovative designs, Sulabh International has successfully constructed over 1.3 million household toilets and more than 50 million government toilets.
In addition to their construction work, the organisation has been actively leading a movement to discourage manual cleaning of human waste.
It all began in 1968 when Pathak was dispatched as a volunteer to a town called Betiah in Bihar to work for the upliftment of manual scavengers.
He had just joined a committee that was set up to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary.
It was here that he saw the magnitude of the problem first-hand: the community of manual scavengers — also known as “untouchables” — were brutally treated and almost condemned to live an inhuman life.
Read Dr Sutirtha Sahariah's report republished in Swarajya in March 2020: Sulabh@50: Why India Should Celebrate The Perseverance Of Bindeshwar Pathak This Year
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