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Assam govt declares 'Day Against Superstition'

The announcement, made by the Assam cabinet on Thursday, June 6, comes as a tribute to Rabha's lifelong crusade against superstitions and social injustices prevalent in Assam.

News Arena Network - Guwahati - UPDATED: June 10, 2024, 05:32 AM - 3 mins read

Birubala Rabha receiving the prestigious Padma Shri from the then President Ram Nath Kovind.

Assam govt declares 'Day Against Superstition'

Birubala Rabha receiving the prestigious Padma Shri from the then President Ram Nath Kovind.


Commemorating the tireless efforts of social activist Birubala Rabha, the Assam government has designated May 13 as the 'Day Against Superstitious Beliefs'.

 

The announcement, made by the Assam cabinet on Thursday, June 6, comes as a tribute to Rabha's lifelong crusade against superstitions and social injustices prevalent in Assam.

 

The decision follows the passing of Rabha on May 13, which has left the community deeply saddened by the loss of the stalwart who dedicated her life to battling superstitions.

 

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma visited the family of the late Birubala Rabha, a Padma Shri awardee renowned for her activism against witch-hunting, at her residence in Thakurvila village, Goalpara, near the Assam-Meghalaya border on June 6.

 

Expressing profound sorrow over Rabha's demise, CM Sarma described it as an "irreparable loss" for the state.

 

Rabha, who succumbed to cancer, was widely revered for her fearless campaign against witch-hunting and other superstitious practices prevalent in rural Assam. 

 

Despite facing personal risks, she challenged societal norms and prejudices to protect vulnerable individuals from accusations of witchcraft.

Born in a remote village, Rabha had a difficult childhood, dropping out of school after class 5 to assist her mother after her father's demise. Married at 15, she had three children.

 

Rabha played a pivotal role in the enactment of the Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Act, 2015, which criminalised witch-hunting and provided stringent punishments for offenders.

 

Her activism began when her son was labeled a 'witch,' facing a dire prognosis due to his mental condition. Despite facing isolation, Rabha raised her voice against witch-hunting, forming 'Mission Birubala' in 2012 to raise awareness and provide rehabilitation to victims. The organisation has saved lives of 55 victims so far in Majuli, Kokrajhar, Goalpara and Tinsukia districts.

 

Recognising her contributions, Rabha was awarded the Padma Shri in 2021. Under the project 1,000 Women', she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 by The Swiss Peace, Switzerland. She received Honorary Doctorate from Gauhati University, besides being recognised with innumerable awards by various organisations.

 

CM Sarma mentioned that the government is considering erecting a statue in Rabha's honor as a lasting tribute to her fight against social injustices.

 

Rabha's legacy lives on through 'Mission Birubala,' which has saved numerous lives and continues to combat superstition in Assam's rural areas.

The declaration of 'Day Against Superstitious Beliefs' aims to carry forward Rabha's mission and create awareness against harmful superstitions in Assam.

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