With the birth of Mission Birubala under the leadership of Birubala Rabha in the year 2011, a reinforced fight against witch hunting was launched. It was the vindication of a sixty year old woman’s lone struggle against the strong clutches of age old superstitions that victimized both men and women and subjected them to heinous atrocities. Mission Birubala is the reinforcing of an extraordinary woman’s strong belief that crimes against men and women in the garb of witch hunting must be stopped at all cost. It is a known fact that, in the garb of tradition and age old beliefs, a group of highly powerful villagers like witch doctors, quacks, priests etc. instigate and precipitate crimes against victims who are mostly women, branding them as witches.
It was Birubala Rabha’s reasoning and logical challenges thrown at the superstitious beliefs, that helped to shatter further people’s niggling doubts regarding such practices. Many eminent and ordinary citizens from all walks of life came forward to lend their support to Birubala Rabha’s fight against this social evil. On 30th September 2012, at the Guwahati Press Club, in the presence of many senior police personnel, journalists and social activists, Mission Birubala was formally launched. And soon after, discussions and deliberations led to the measures to be taken and strategies to work out, to fight against the menace of witch hunting. Eminent people came forward with their invaluable suggestions and observations. Bhabaprasad Chaliha, Upe Rabha Hakasam, Paramananda Majumdar, Manisha Behel, Advocate Durlabh Mahanta, Dean Ramesh Borpatragohain, Junmoni Devi Khound and senior police officials like Pallav Bhattacharya, Kula Saikia, Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta, Shyamal Saikia and Louis Aind were amongst them. They have not only supported Mission Birubala since its inception but have also helped Birubala Rabha, the leader of the mission in their personal capacity. Much before the birth of Mission Birubala, she had valiantly rescued 35 victims of witch hunting especially in the areas predominantly inhabited by the Bodo and Rabha communities in Assam and Assam Meghalaya border.
In 2000, at Birubala Rabha’s village Thakurbila, instigated by the village quack, the villagers singled out four women as witches. When the Assam Mahila Samata Society got wind of the incident, an awareness meeting was organized near Lakhipur, at Dadan mandir’s premises. The Samata Society’s advice and suggestion was sought on the issue. No villager came forward to claim that the accused women were innocent. It was Birubala Rabha who fearlessly came forward to defend the accused women and proved that the quack/witch doctor’s accusations were false. She claimed that the very same witch doctor had prophesied five years ago that her son who he claimed to be under the influence of a fairy would die in three days time. That prophecy never came true.
Soon after this incident, she faced the wrath of the villagers entangled in the web of superstitions and was ostracized by them for three years for daring to raise her voice. However this action did not deter her from her convictions. She continued to raise her voice against superstitious beliefs and witch hunting. And in this context between 2006 to 2011, she visited many villages on behalf of Assam Samata Society.
‘Mission Birubala’ is basically working with witch hunting issue.
- Awareness Meeting :- Mission Birubala has completed more than 100 awareness meeting in several districts of Assam.
- Rescue and Rehabilitation :- Till now Mission Birubala has rescued 10Nos witch hunting victims and taken initiatives to rehebilited in their own place.
- Sensitization Camp :- Till now Mission Birubala has conduct Four (4) sensitization camp accordingly, 27th January 2014 to 3 February 2014 among Golaghat, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts; 29th March 2014 and 30th March 2014 in Golaghat distict; 1 May 2014 to 9 May 2014 in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts; 13th June to 23rd June in Goalpara and Kokrajer Districts.
- Free Health Camp :- Mission Birubala has conduct Fifteen (15) free health camps among the people of rural and difficult area of Goalpara district.
- Formation of Student-Cell :- Till now We formed Six student-cell in Dibru College(Dibrugarh), DDR College (Chabua, Dibrugarh), Philobari Junior College(Tinsukia), Dudhnoi College(Goalpara), Gosaigaon College(Goalpara), Serfunguri College(Kokrajer) etc.