Mangaluru: Addressing the media persons during a press meet held at Mangalore Press Club, Prof. Dr Richard Pais-Founding Member of Mangalore Sociology Association said, “The Mangalore Sociology Association (MSA) founded in 1990 completed its 25 years on 29 December 2015. As part of the celebrations a National Conference on ‘Social Sciences and Social Development’ is organised in collaboration with the Dept of Sociology, St Aloysius College (Autonomous), Mangaluru, on 12th and 13th February, 2016, at St Aloysius College Campus”.
“The inauguration ceremony will begin at 10.00 am, on 12th February 2016. Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, the Founder of Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, New Delhi, will inaugurate the Conference. Prof. GK Karanth, Former faculty ISEC, Bangalore will deliver the Key-note address. Prof. Nil Ratan, AN Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna and Sri SN Hegde, Gel International Ltd, Mumbai will be the guests. Fr Denzil Lobo, Rector of St Aloysius Institutions will preside over the function added Dr Pais.
Dr Vinay Rajath-President of MSA said, “The valedictory programme will be held on 13th February 2016 at 3.00 pm. Prof. Jogan Shankar, honourable vice-chancellor of Kuvempu University, Shimoga, will deliver the valedictory address. Prof. Gayathridevi KG, former faculty ISEC Bangalore will be the guest. Fr Francis Almeida, Vice-principal, St Aloysius College, Mangaluru will preside over the programme. About 400 delegates are expected to participate in the Conference. The Association, as an academic body in its glorious 25 years has organised 20 Conferences and Seminars 15 special lectures, 26 subject related workshops and 14 student centred activities. MSA regularly publishes its journal Samaja Shodhana and till now has published 19 Sociology text books for Degree classes”.
Vasudev Kamath- Treasurer of MSA, Fr Alphonse Fernandes Sj-Organizing Secretary, and Vijay Alva- Secretary of MSA were present on the dais during the press meet.
About Dr Bindeshwar Pathak
by Prof. Dr Richard Pais
Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, a non-profit voluntary social organisation founded in 1970 by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, is dedicated to Gandhian ideology of emancipation of scavengers. Sulabh is not about community toilets only, it’s a social revolution, freedom from detestable social customs of discrimination based on caste and creed, end of shameful practice of defecation in open places, eradication of the inhuman practice of manual scavenging and liberation of scavengers engaged in this occupation, end of spread of contagious diseases and epidemics, boost to non-conventional energy sources, enormous employment opportunities and establishment of educational institutions.
Sulabh is envisioned as an agent of social and cultural change. Inspired by Gandhian philosophy of truthfulness, non-violence, and altruism, Sulabh believes in the Gandhian principle of trusteeship. Sulabh is based on compassion for and development of fellowmen. Sulabh seeks to develop an egalitarian society, based on equal opportunity for every human being irrespective of their caste, race, and natural of a happy home, free from unhygienic and unhealthy practices.
Dr Bindeshwar Pathak was born in 1943 in village Rampur-Baghel in the Vaishali District of Bihar, into a Maithil Brahmin family. He took up sociology in 1961 as one of the subjects in Bachelor of Arts, Part-I in Patna University and later opted for sociology as a subject in the Honours class. With marriage in 1965 came new responsibilities. With the help of an old family in the Bihar Electricity board, he joined the Patratu Thermal Power Station as a daily wage earner on Rs five per day. He next joined his father’s business in promoting the sale of Ayurvedic and other indigenous medicines to sugarcane co-operatives. Later he worked as an unpaid translator from English/Hindi/English, and then his luck turned and he got a job for Rs 200 per month in the Bihar Gandhi Centenary Celebration Committee on Restoration of Human Rights. Her, he developed two-pit pour-flush technology of toilets.
Dr Bindeshwar Pathak joined the liberation of scavengers’ cell of the Bihar Gandhi Centenary Celebration Committee in 1968 when he was entrusted with the task of finding out an alternative to scavenging. On 5th March, 1970 Dr Bindeshwar Pathak launched the Sulabh Swachh Shauchalaya. The first Sulabh public toilet was constructed in Patna in 1974. In 1980, he started Sulabh International Social Service Organisation. Government of India conferred ‘Padma Bhushan’ in 1991 on Dr Pathak for his work in sanitation development and social service. His holiness John Pope Paul II gave audience to Dr Pathak at the time of conferment of the International St Francis Prize for environment in the year 1992. He also did his Ph.D. in Sociology on scavengers and published his thesis in a book form, Road to Freedom.
The mass movement by Dr Pathak started spreading all over the country with a cadre of about 50,000 Sulabh volunteers, now working from right atop the mountain at Vaishnav Devi, to deep down in South and in the farthest corners in the east and the west of the country, in 25 States and 1075 towns with over 8,000 public toilet complexes. In 1985, the UNDP and the World Bank after evaluation of the Sulabh technology of the pour flush toilet and in the methodology of the maintenance of public toilets and baths on ‘pay-and–use’ basis passed it on to the countries of South-East Asia, Africa and Latin America for their adoption.
Dr Pathak solved the problem of entry of Harijans into Nathdwara Temple in Udaipur, Rajasthan for prayers in 1988. He along with 100 scavengers and orthodox Vedic Maithil Brahmins, entered the Nathdwara Temple, offered prayers and sang bhajans. To improve the social status of scavengers in India, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak has launched a movement to socially upgrade them. In this, one high status family in society has to “socially adopt” a scavenger family who will be treated like family members. So far, 5,000 scavenger families have been “adopted” by high status people. On the principle of Baba Ambedkar, educate,organiseandagitate Sulabh has set up in 1992 an English medium school in Delhi for the sons and daughters of scavengers with other children. The first of its kind in the world, the Sulabh International Museum of toilets was set up in Delhi in 1994. In 1996 Sulabh has demonstrated an eco-friendly low-cost technology for waste water treatment through duckweed. Further, in 1997, Sulabh developed a new technology for composing of biodegradable wastes known as Sulabh Thermophilic Aerobic Composting (STAC)
In 2002, Sulabh developed a new and convenient technology to make biogas plant effluents free from colour, odour and pathogen free known as SET (Sulabh Effluent Treatment). In 2003, Sulabh took steps to establish a Sulabh University of Sanitation. Sulabh organised the World toilet Summit 2007 in collaboration with World Toilet Organisation (WTO) in which representatives of 44 countries participated. In 2012, the Supreme Court directed the National Legal Services Authorities (NALSA) to contact Sulabh International Social Services Organisation to find out whether they could come forward to help the 1,780 odd widows living in four government shelters in Vrindavan. Immediately, Dr Pathak started his work for the widows. Sulabh has expanded its network internationally. Sulabh has built world’s biggest toilet complex in the town of Shirdi in Nasik District of Maharastra for pilgrims visiting the shrine of Sai Baba. The complex is equipped with 148 toilets and 108 bath rooms that allow space for dressing, babysitting and breast-feeding. Sulabh has branches operating in Bhutan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Indonesia, Mozambique, Kenya, South Africa, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Burkina Faso.
About Author-Dr Richard Pais
Dr Richard Pais retired as Professor and Head, Department of Sociology, St Aloysius College (Autonomous), Mangalore. He has post-graduate degrees in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Poona and Ph.D. from the Mangalore University. He has written/edited 18 books and equal number of research papers/articles. In 2007, he received the L.P. Vidyarthi Award conferred by Indian Social Science Association, Agra for his contribution to the development of Social Sciences in the country. He is the Managing Editor to Social Science Gazetteer, the Journal of Indian Social Science Association and Samaja Shodhana, the Journal of Mangalore Sociology Association. At present, he is the Vice-President of Indian Social Science Association, Agra. His latest books are: Backward Classes and Social Justice (2011), Perspectives on Social Development (2012) and Sociology of Sanitation (2015). He is closely associated with Dr Bindeshwar Pathak and Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, New Delhi.