India Declaration
Made on
29th January, 2013
National Conference
Sociology of Sanitation: Environmental Sanitation, Public Health and Social Deprivation
Under the aegis of
Sulabh International Centre for Action Sociology
In Close collaboration with
Sulabh International Social Service Organisation
Mavalankar Auditorium, Rafi Marg, New Delhi

In the two days National Conference on Sociology of Sanitation: Environmental Sanitation, Public Health and Social Deprivation, organized by Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, held on 28th and 29th January 2013, Sociologists coming from various parts of the country agreed to the call of Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak that there is an urgent need of beginning a new sub-discipline of sociology, called ‘Sociology of Sanitation’. It was strongly felt and argued in the conference that existing sub-disciplines of sociology do not adequately capture and address the varied aspects, nuances and social complexities related to sanitation. More than hundred papers were presented and delegates agreed to the following recommendations.

  1. Sociology of Sanitation should be introduced as a new sub-discipline of sociology at national as well as global level.
  2. The new sub-discipline will engage with sanitation at the theoretical, empirical and action level.
  3. The primary objective of Sociology of Sanitation is to achieve total elimination of open defecation and empowerment of the disadvantaged communities. At the pragmatic level, Sulabh model and technologies are recommended to achieve ecological sanitation in affordable and efficient manner.
  4. The Sulabh experience suggests that Sociology of Sanitation can generate employment opportunities and hence it is compatible to the UGC norms of ’employment generation potentiality’ for introducing a new discipline/course.
  5. It is also recommended that appropriate curriculum, literature and plan of action should be developed to achieve the above goals. Appropriate working groups should be formed under the leadership of Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak for each of the tasks.
  6. A tentative syllabus is also proposed which should include the following:
    • Definition, nature, scope and subject matter of Sociology of Sanitation
    • Relation of Sociology of Sanitation with other sub-disciplines of sociology and other social sciences and humanities
    • Theoretical perspectives
    • Important concepts
    • Important thinkers
    • Methodology
    • Problems, issues and challenges
    • Dimensions of sanitation
    • Policies, planning and executing agencies
    • Advocacy for community interventions
    • Sulabh Shauchalaya: A tool of social change
    • Sustainable Technology: Sulabh Tools
    • Injustice, deprivation and strategies for empowerment
    • Practical field and project work
  7. It is also recommended that Indian Sociological Society should be requested to begin a new research committee on Sociology of Sanitation and must promote research and teaching on sanitation at every possible level.
  8. UGC should be approached to include Sociology of Sanitation as a recommended course in Sociology at UG, PG and Research levels in a graded manner.
  9. ICSSR should be approached to give priority to sanitation studies while promoting research at academic and disciplinary levels.
  10. All Departments of Sociology at universities, colleges and other educational institution including schools should be informed about this declaration.
  11. Scholars should be encouraged to write comprehensive text and reference books on Sociology of Sanitation.
  12. A journal on Sociology of Sanitation should be started.
  13. Seminars and conferences should be organized in different parts of the country and world for promoting and popularizing Sociology of Sanitation.
  14. E literature in the form of proceedings, papers, blogs and websites should be promoted.
  15. Rich literature in the form of encyclopedia and dictionaries on sanitation be prepared and made available to all the concerned.
  16. Association for Promotion of Sociology of Sanitation should be formed as a Forum to promote Sociology of Sanitation.