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Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, activist and humanitarian, wins 2009 Stockholm Water Prize

In Environment, India, People Making A Difference on May 5, 2009 at 10:04 am

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh Sanitation Movement in India, has been named the 2009 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate.

As the Founder of the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, Dr. Pathak has worked to change social attitudes toward traditional unsanitary latrine practices in slums, rural villages, and dense urban districts, and developed cost effective toilet systems that have improved daily life and health for millions of people. He has also waged an ongoing campaign to abolish the traditional practice of manual “scavenging” of human waste from bucket latrines in India while championing the rights of former scavengers and their families to economic opportunity, decent standards of living, and social dignity.

“The results of Dr. Pathak’s endeavors constitute one of the most amazing examples of how one person can impact the well being of millions,” noted the Stockholm Water Prize nominating committee in its citation. “Dr. Pathak’s leadership in attaining these remarkable socio-environmental results has been universally recognized, and not least by those who have secured the freedom of human dignity as a consequence of his efforts.”

Dr. Pathak will formally receive the 2009 Stockholm Water Prize at a Royal Award Ceremony and Banquet during the World Water Week in Stockholm this coming August.

First presented in 1991, The Stockholm Water Prize is the world’s most prestigious prize for outstanding achievement in water-related activities. The annual prize includes a USD 150,000 award and a crystal sculpture.

An international nominating committee appointed by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is responsible to review the nominations and propose a candidate. The Founders of the prize are Swedish and international companies in co-operation with the City of Stockholm. The prize programme is administered by the Stockholm International Water Institute.

The patron of the Stockholm Water Prize is H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

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