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Padma Shri awardee Birubala Rabha, who waged a relentless struggle against witch-hunting passes away

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Guwahati: The great warrior against superstitions is no more. Birubala Rabha, who created widespread public awareness in the society against the witchcraft, passed away at the Gauhati Medical College Hospital at 9-23 am on May 13. Biruwala Rabha was undergoing treatment at the State Cancer Institute of Gauhati Medical College Hospital. Rabha’s health was improving recently but he breathed his last this morning. It may be recalled that Birubala Rabha was admitted to the ICU on May 4 . Her health deteriorated further. The Assam government had announced that govt. would bear all the expenses of her treatment.

But hours after the government said it would bear the medical expenses, the fighter in the anti-superstition war turned a eye forever. Birubala Rabha was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour of the country by the Government of India, in 2021 for her outstanding contribution to the society. In 1954 Born in a poor family, Rabha could only study till Class V. But her social consciousness was very strong. Therefore, Birubala Rabha stood in the midst of many adversities against superstitions prevailing in the society. Since 2000, she has created a mass awakening against the practice of witchcraft, which is the curse of social life in Assam. For the past two decades, she had been fighting almost alone against superstition. In 1985 she took over as the secretary of the Thakurvilla Mahila Samiti that and went from village to village to create awareness against witch-hunting. More than 34 lives have been saved by the efforts of Birubala Rabha. Virubala Rabha had launched Mission Birubala in Goalpara district against witch-hunting in 2011. The mission of Birubala Rabha was recognised as a state mission on October 30, 2012. Birubala Rabha has been awarded many awards, recognitions and honours for her stand against superstitions like witch-hunting. Some of those award and honors are The Sarveshwar Dutta Memorial Puraskar (2011), the felicitation given by Reliance Industries Limited in Mumbai in 2008, the “Anandaram Dhekial Phukan Award” given by Anandram Dhekial Phukan College, Nagaon in the year 2019, 12th Upendra Nath Brahma Soldier of Humanity Award in 2015 , Padma Shri by the Government of India, in 2021 etc.

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