Five Most Innovative Social Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bangalore: It is still a matter of discussion, whether entrepreneurship is born or inbuilt; however, there are many who have succeeded to create a niche for themselves in the business world by doing something out of the league. These are the social entrepreneurs who thought of bringing in certain reform in the society rather than just enjoying the pleasant sound of coins.

Bindeshwar Pathak

An Indian sociologist, Bindeshwar Pathak is the founder of Sulabh International, an India-based social service organization that works to promote human rights, environment sanitation, non-conventional sources of energy, waste management and social reforms through education.

Born to a Brahmin family in 1943 and raised in Bihar, Pathak earned his MA in Sociology, MA in English, PhD. in “Liberation of scavengers through low cost sanitation” and a Doctorate of Literature in “Eradication of scavenging and environmental sanitation in India: a sociological study”. His first interaction to understand the plight of scavengers was when he joined Bhangi-Mukti Cell of the Bihar Gandhi Centenary Celebrations Committee. As a part of his PhD. Research, he travelled throughout India living with scavenger families.

Understanding the pain of the scavengers and their task as un-human, he founded Sulabh International in 1970. The organization has over 50,000 volunteers. He has made innovative use of biogas creation by linking Sulabh toilets to fermentation plants, which he designed decades ago and have now become a byword for sanitation in developing countries all over the world. Pathak is a Padma Bhushan recipient from the Government of India. His name was added to the Global 500 Roll of Honour in 2003. He also received the Energy Globe Award, the Dubai International Award for Best Practices and the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award for Environment. In 2009, Pathak was honored with Stockholm Water Prize award. Antarrashtriya Bhojpuri Samman was awarded to him in the 4th world Bhojpuri Sammelan in Port Louis.

Source: Silicon India (link opens in a new window)