National Webinar on ‘Sociology of Sanitation’

A one-day National Webinar on ‘Sociology of Sanitation’ was held at Department of Sociological Studies, Central University of South Bihar, Gaya on October 27, 2021. The Webinar was presided over by the Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor of CUSB, Prof. Kameshwar Nath Singh and the chief guest Dr. Bindewshar Pathak, founder Sulabh Sanitation and social reform movement. At the outset, welcome address and introductory remarks was delivered by the Head of the Department and Convener of the Webinar, Dr. Anil Kumar Singh Jha, after welcoming the guest, he brought to light the close bond between sanitation and sociology and argued that it is not the resources but rather the beliefs, practices and customs of people related to health and environment that matter in improving the sanitary conditions in India. Next on dais was Dr. Bindewshar Pathak, who delivered his ideas on the major themes and perspectives of the seminar. He shared his rich experience in the field of sanitation and the contributions of Sulabh International to the field of sanitation, health and hygiene. Dr. Pathak stressed that better sanitation is needed not only for healthy body but also for the healthy society and healthy nation. Furthermore, Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor Prof. Kameshwar Nath Singh shared his thoughts in his Presidential Address and highlighted the role of rich Indian cultural heritage in the field of sanitation. He also explained the different efforts and schemes of society and government. The role of Mahatma Gandhi in this field was also highlighted by him. The Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor announced that Sociology of Sanitation will be offered by the Department of Sociological Studies for PG students. The inclusion of this course will not only enlarge the scope of sociology, but also be helpful in solving the problems of society in relation to sanitation. This course is very much in tune with the central ethos of National Educational Policy 2020.

In panel discussion session, Prof Richard Pais from Magalore University, Prof Jagan Karade, Secretary- Indian Sociological Society, Prof. Ashish Saxena from Allahabad Uni. and Prof Manish Verma from BBA University, Lucknow shared their views. Prof Richard Pais highlighted the issue of COVID-19 and sanitation. Prof Manish Verma explained interconnectedness of sanitation, health and environment. Prof. Ashish Saxena highlighted the importance of Sociology of Sanitation in academic field with a number of theoretical inputs. Prof Jagan Karade highlighted the issues of sanitation, urban planning, slum and environment.

The valedictory session was chaired by Prof Krishnan Chalil, Dean-School of Social Sciences and Policy. Renowned Indian Sociologist Prof. B. K Nagla was the chief guest of this session. Prof Nagala in his valedictory address remarked that there is close connection between cultural, tradition, moral values, health and sanitation. He highlighted the socio-cultural aspects of sanitation. Dr. Parijat Pradhan and Dr. Priya Ranjan proposed vote of thanks in inaugural and valedictory sessions respectively. The seminar brings together more than hundred national scholars for intense interaction.

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