Social activist and Sulabh International founder Bindeshwar Pathak died on Tuesday. He was 80 years old.

Pathak suffered a cardiac arrest at around 1.30 pm while being taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, reported The Indian Express.

In 1970, Pathak founded Sulabh International, a non-governmental organisation which has constructed over 1.3 million household toilets and over 50 million government toilets based on an innovative design, reported NDTV.

The organisation also led a movement to discourage manual scavenging or the practice of removing human excreta by hand from sewer lines or septic tanks.

In 2016, the mayor of New York City had announced April 14 as “Bindeshwar Pathak Day” in recognition of the social activist’s work in eradicating manual scavenging, according to PTI.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered Pathak as a visionary who worked extensively for societal progress and empowering the downtrodden.

“Bindeshwar ji made it his mission to build a cleaner India,” Modi said. “ He provided monumental support to the Swachh Bharat Mission. During our various conversations, his passion towards swachhata [cleanliness] was always visible. His work will continue to inspire several people. My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones during this difficult time. Om Shanti.”

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