GUWAHATI, Jan 21 - A very special journey called ‘Bigyan Chetana Jatra’ was undertaken by Mission Birubala in order to create a scientific temperament among the masses. This jatra under the programme titled, ‘Sanskar: Manuhe Manuhor Babe’, an initiative of the State government is mainly targeted to erase the superstitious beliefs prevalent in various parts of the State, which in turn is leading to killing of innocent people and also causing unrest in some areas of the State. This was stated in a press release.
A streetplay being organised on the occasion of the Bigyan Chetana Jatra.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has voiced deep concern about the incidents arising out of superstitious beliefs. The department of Science and Technology, Government of Assam has been assigned as the nodal department and Assam Science Technology and Environment Council (ASTEC) as the nodal agency for spearheading the state-wide programme.
Mission Birubala, an organization which works extensively against witch-hunting and social evils was entrusted with carrying on this jatra in three districts of Assam namely, Golaghat, Jorhat and Majuli. A hired bus was used to carry the team of 12 members from one place to another.
Under the guidance of the State Coordinator of Mission Birubala Dr Natyabir Das, the team started the jatra on January 10 and completed it on January 12. The jatra started from Golaghat district from three spots namely, Furkating, Pulibor and Podumoni on January 10. In Jorhat, places namely, Mohbondha, Lohpohia and Nemati were covered on January 11. In Majuli, important places like Kamalabari, Jengrai and Bongaon were touched on January 12. Audiences of Majuli expressed the need for more such programmes.
During the jatra, various programmes were undertaken in order to create awareness. A streetplay on the menace of superstitious beliefs was performed by the artistes of Manchelanka Performing Art Centre. The play was scripted and directed by Royenti Rabha. A documentary was presented to the people based on science. The main motive behind this documentary was to make people aware about science being the main component behind the performance of magical tricks. Leaflets highlighting the penance mentioned in the Anti-Witch Hunting Act were distributed among the audience. Banners highlighting the regulations of the Act were hanged in various spots. A short film on witch-hunting called Monor Andhakar scripted by late Arun Sarma and produced by ASTEC was also screened.
Dr Birubala Rabha, the Chief Adviser of Mission Birubala spoke on the importance of education and health of women and children. She emphasized on the fact that education is the torchbearer in order to enlighten the masses regarding superstitious beliefs and social evils. She urged the crowd to consult trained doctors in lieu of the rural doctors or bejs for health crisis. Usha Rabha, president of the organization interacted with the female audience and apprised them regarding the role of women in eradicating evils of the society.
There was good response from the audience wherever the team went. The audience consisted of passers-by, shopkeepers, students, village people, Asha workers, local businessmen, tea garden workers etc. Many local youths extended their support and cooperation to the organization for this jatra as volunteers, the release added.