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Assam: Renowned Anti-Witch Hunting Activist Padma Shri Birubala Rabha Passes Away at 70

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Guwahati, May 13: Birubala Rabha, the renowned activist who dedicated her entire life to fighting against the practice of witch-hunting in Assam, passed away today at the State Cancer Institute in Guwahati. She was 70.

According to reports, she had been battling cancer in recent times. On Monday morning, she breathed her last at the State Cancer Institute, Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) complex.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma expressed his deep sorrow at her passing. He tweeted, “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. ”

Born in Thakurvila village in Goalpara district bordering Meghalaya in 1954, she faced immense personal hardship from a young age. Despite this, she went on to become a beacon of hope for women targeted by witch-hunting, rescuing many man-women in the last decade of her life alone.

Her tireless activism prompted the Assam government to pass the landmark Prevention of and Protection from Witch Hunting Act in 2015. The Act provides stringent punishments for those involved in witch-hunting and has been hailed as one of the toughest anti-witch-hunting laws in India.

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Assam: Renowned Anti-Witch Hunting Activist Padma Shri Birubala Rabha Passes Away at 70

Rabha’s courage and commitment earned her numerous accolades, including a Padma Shri in 2021, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour. She was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 and awarded an honorary doctorate by Gauhati University in 2015.

Her passing is a huge loss for Assam. However, her legacy will live on through the countless lives she touched and the change she sparked in society.

Also Read: Eight police personnel fall ill after consuming wild mushroom in Dhemaji

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