GUWAHATI, June 17 - Alleging that the State Government’s plan to hold bhoomi poojan before setting up 19 cancer care institutes in collaboration with the Tata Trust would go against the State-wide efforts to mobilise public opinion against superstitious beliefs, Ellora Vigyan Mancha today said the government should cancel such activities and rather focus on promoting scientific temperament.
The 19 new cancer centres are a part of the inclusive joint cancer care programme of the Government of Assam and the Tata Trusts. Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Trusts, has come to Assam for the same.
The foundation stone laying ceremony of the cancer care centre would be held tomorrow at the Khanapara Veterinary College ground here in the presence of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, BJP national president Amit Shah, Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Ratan Tata.
“At a time when the State is feeling a pressing need for awareness against superstitious beliefs, the acts like bhoomi poojan for the soon to be opened cancer care centres in Assam would deal a blow to the efforts of people promoting scientific temperament in the State,” Dr Chandra Mohan Sarma, president of the Mancha and Kamalesh Gupta, general secretary of the forum, said.
Bringing reference to the recent lynching incident at Dokmoka in Karbi Anglong and numerous incidents of witch hunting across the State, the forum said in such circumstances, the people with rational thinking would never accept such ceremonies, which would do no good to the cause.
“Similarly, the river worshipping festival like Namami Brahmaputra, patronised by the State government, does nothing to address the problem of flood and erosion. On the other hand, it promotes superstitious beliefs among the common people,” the Mancha said.
The Mancha, a forum fighting superstitions and inculcating scientific temperament among people, has been instrumental in promoting eye donation and body pledging for the last several years. It is also involved in creating awareness against superstitious practices in different strata of the society.
While welcoming the government’s decision to lay special emphasis on the need for cancer care in Assam, the Mancha said the effort would have been more beneficial for the common people, had it been totally a government-funded endeavour.