Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, a non-profit voluntary social organisation was founded in 1970 by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak. It is dedicated to the Gandhian ideology of the emancipation of scavengers. Sulabh International 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. The “untouchables”, mostly women were responsible for the carrying of waste in bamboo baskets that often leaked and trickled all over the person. Dr Pathak has worked tirelessly to initiate a mixed strategy of technology, rehabilitation and social reform to restore dignity to this population in India. His strategy has five distinct stages:
- Vocational training
- Proper education of the next generation
- Social elevation
The organisation 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.