> Padma Shri awardee and anti-witch hunting crusader, Birubala Rabha passes away at 70 - নিয়মীয়া খবৰ




Padma Shri awardee and anti-witch hunting crusader, Birubala Rabha passes away at 70

Padma Shri awardee, human rights activist and crusader against witch hunting, Birubala Rabha of Assam died in Guwahati this morning. She was 70.

Rabha was battling cancer. She was undergoing treatment at the State Cancer Institute in Guwahati since April 22 this year.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma mourned her death and praised her untiring efforts to end social evils against women.

Takin to X CM Sarma wrote, “I am deeply distressed to learn about the passing away of Padma Shri Smt Birubala Rabha. Through her untiring efforts to end social evils she illuminated the paths of scores of women with hope and confidence. Rising through a challenging life, she epitomised courage against all odds. Assam will forever remain grateful for her leadership in serving society. Om Shanti.”

On Saturday, Assam Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary had visited the veteran activist in the hospital and announced the Assam Government’s decision to bear all expenses for her treatment.

Taking to ‘X’, Patowary wrote, “On the direction of Hon’ble CM Dr. @himantabiswa, today visited the State Cancer Institute, Guwahati, and took stock of the health of renowned social worker Smt Birubala Rabha who is undergoing treatment there and interacted with the doctors regarding her treatment. As per Hon’ble CM’s direction, the State Government will will bear the expenses of their medical treatment.”

Born in 1954 in the village of Thakurvila, near the Meghalaya border in Assam’s Goalpara district, Birubala was instrumental in the framing of the Prevention of and Protection from Witch Hunting Act, 2015 passed by the Assam Government.

Losing her father at the tender age of six, she was compelled to discontinue her education and assist her mother in managing the household.

Rabha’s journey, however, transcended her personal struggles as she emerged as a formidable voice against superstition and social maladies like witch-hunting. Her relentless efforts through ‘Mission Birubala’ have been instrumental in raising awareness against the pernicious practice of witch-hunting, consequently saving numerous lives.

Besides the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, Rabha was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. She was conferred an honorary Doctorate by the Gauhati University in 2015.

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