“Conservation of national sanitation is Swaraj work and it may not be postponed for a single day on any consideration whatsoever”- Mahatma Gandhi.
Such was the vision, of the “Father of the Nation”, and so true in today’s fast-paced life around us. If at all we want India to be a superpower we must follow Gandhi Ji’s principles on sanitation.
Living in a society brings along a lot of responsibility and sense of duty towards the country. Each individual must deliver his/her part only then the mission and vision can be accomplished. Leaders, entrepreneurs, missionaries, legends come from within the society; the only difference between them and others is they follow their mission and vision. One such simple individual with great mission and vision is Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak.
He is a philosopher, a missionary, a social reformist, and a great humanist. His selfless work for the poor and, social reform cum environmental up gradation has been appreciated by his holiness Pope John Paul –II. He is the father of the “Sulabh International Social Service Organization”. Founded in 1970 this organization took up the dare of sanitation related pollution and its causes to the society and the environment, and in the last 40 years of this movement has changed the mindset of the people towards sanitation practices.
With the objective to educate everyone on the evolution of toilets, the raw materials used, the technologies adopted, the designs, and help the sanitation experts of current times learn from the past and develop new methods to solve the problems of sanitation sector, a “Toilet Museum” was made by Dr. Pathak at the campus of his office at New Delhi.
Once decided on the project he started working on the smallest of details required for the final set up. Approximately 100 embassies of different countries were approached for the details of the evolution of toilet, the designs and costumes followed by them in their countries. About 60 embassies replied and shared the information. Each detail shared by them was personally checked by him, arranged in chronology and then finalized to be kept in the museum. He even researched on the books, pamphlets and pictures shared and collected by them. After a detailed study for three years, the museum was established.
The museum has a unique and a wide collection of facts, pictures, pamphlets, details of the evolution of toilets since 2500BC. It gives a detailed knowledge of the different costumes, etiquettes, raw materials used, designs made, developments, and senatorial efforts made in the evolution of the toilets. It has a collection of chamberpots, privies, furniture, water closets used from 1145 till date. Some unique collection is – picture of a medieval mobile commode, treasure chest shaped commode, toilet pots made of gold and silver used by Roman emperors, and how the society used to look at those times. It also has records of how the sewerage and drainage system were in different civilizations like – Indus valley civilization.
Today around 100000 visitors have personally visited the museum and around 27, 50,000 have visited the website of the museum. Visitors are from not only from all parts of the country but from across the globe and even the media attention is wide. It has been listed amongst the top ten weirdest museums of the world and awarded the “Certificate of Excellence 2013” by TripAdvisor.in.
You may also like to Read :