Birubala Rabha, Who Helped Pass Assam's Anti-Witch Hunting Law, Dies At 75

Birubala Rabha is survived by two sons and a daughter

Guwahati:

Padma Shri awardee Birubala Rabha, famend for her battle towards witch searching, handed away at a hospital right here on Monday after an extended battle with most cancers, docs mentioned.

Survived by two sons, a daughter, and different relations, Rabha, 75, was admitted to the State Most cancers Institute of Gauhati Medical School and Hospital (GMCH) on April 22 as a result of extreme weak spot, GMCH superintendent Abhijit Sarma mentioned.

“She has been a affected person of superior stage carcinoma oesophagus since 2021 and was present process remedy at our hospital. She was placed on a metallic stent due to issue in swallowing six month in the past,” he added.

As Rabha’s situation deteriorated, she was admitted to the hospital final month and was shifted to ICU on Could 4, adopted by mechanical ventilator assist on Sunday as she developed respiratory misery, Sarma mentioned.

“In any case attainable intensive care, she breathed her final at 9:23 am as a result of multi-organ failure,” he added.

Rabha, whose son and brother have been victims of witch searching, had fearlessly led her NGO ‘Mission Birubala’ amidst excessive hostility in distant areas. Regardless of dealing with quite a few makes an attempt on her life by superstitious villagers branding her a witch, she continued her brave work.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma expressed his deep condolences over the passing away of the social activist.

“I’m deeply distressed to study in regards to the passing away of Padma Shri Smt Birubala Rabha. By her untiring efforts to finish social evils, she illuminated the paths of scores of girls with hope and confidence.

“Rising via a difficult life, she epitomised braveness towards all odds. Assam will eternally stay grateful for her management in serving society,” he posted on X.

Representing the Assam authorities, Setting and Forest Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary reached the GMCH and supplied his condolences.

“It’s a massive loss to the state and the nation. We are going to by no means get one other individual like Birubala Rabha, who defied all odds and stood up for humanity,” he added.

Her stays shall be taken to her residence in Goalpara district and the final rites shall be carried out with full state honours, Patowary mentioned.

Born in distant Thakurvila village in Goalpara in 1949, she had a struggling childhood. Her father died when she was six, forcing her to drop out of college after class 5 and assist her mom run the family. Rabha was simply 15 years outdated when she was married to a farmer with whom she had three youngsters.

Rabha was instrumental within the enactment of the Assam Witch Searching (Prohibition, Prevention and Safety) Act, 2015, which made each offence associated to witch searching as cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable, making provisions for imprisonment as much as seven years together with a nice of as much as Rs 5 lakh for figuring out and calling an individual witch.

Her battle towards the menace started when her son was branded a ‘witch’ and identified to die inside three days as a result of he was mentally not sound. Her household was remoted for 3 years after she began elevating her voice towards witch searching.

Rabha shaped ‘Mission Birubala’ in 2012 to create consciousness amongst folks towards the social evil and all types of superstitious beliefs, apart from offering rehabilitation to the victims of witch searching menace. The organisation has saved lives of 55 victims thus far in Majuli, Kokrajhar, Goalpara and Tinsukia districts.

Recognising her work to guard lives in rural India, she was conferred with the fourth highest civilian award of the nation ‘Padma Shri’ in 2021.

Underneath the venture ‘1,000 Ladies’, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 by The Swiss Peace, Switzerland. She acquired Honorary Doctorate from Gauhati College, apart from being recognised with innumerable awards by numerous organisations.

Condolence messages have began pouring in from completely different quarters, hailing Rabha as an emblem of crusader towards superstition and upholder of mankind.

Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal mentioned Rabha Baideo (elder sister) battled towards the superstitions and prejudices entrenched within the society, exemplifying the power of girls via unwavering dedication and braveness.

“Impressed by her work, we will all the time stay motivated to persistently serve the neighborhood, no matter challenges. The information of Baideo’s passing fills my coronary heart with deep sorrow. Her departure leaves an irreplaceable void in Assam’s social cloth,” he added.

Assam Jatiya Parishad President Lurinjyoti Gogoi additionally mentioned Rabha’s contribution will all the time be remembered and her beliefs shall be a information for each era to come back.

Condoling her demise, Assam Congress president Bhupen Kumar Borah mentioned Rabha’s demise is an irreparable loss to Assamese society. 

(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)

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