A group of scavenger women from a town in Rajasthan called Alwar sashaying down the ramp with leading supermodels in New York? Thirty seven women who, a few years ago earned their living by cleaning dry latrines and carrying night soil in containers on their head, now attending events and speaking at the United Nations headquarters? Unbelievable??
This has been made possible by Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak and his organization Sulabh International Social Service Organization. He decided to liberate these women of their stigma and train them in vocations like food processing, tailoring, embroidery and beauty treatments. Thus was born the programme called Nai Dishayein (New Directions) in 2003. Now these women can walk with their head held high and hold conversations with heads of state without feeling any inferiority due to birth and circumstances. Read more about the remarkable story of Dr. Pathak and the success of his initiative in the Women’s Feature Service article available in an interesting Nepal publication called Gorkhapatra here.
Also, you can find more about Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak and the work his NGO Sulabh International has done to deal with issues like hygiene and sanitation, among others by visiting their website: http://www.sulabhinternational.org/