1 . The major activity that was taken up immediately after the Bengaluru Congress was to build up public opinions and to step up pressure on the State government for enactment of stringent law against superstition, more particularly against the menace of 'Witch' hunting. A State-level Committee Against Superstition was formed with the inclusion of like minded organizations, specially the Assam Science Society, Gyan-Vigyan Samiti, Mission Birubala, All Bodo Students' Union, All Assam Tea Tribes' Students' Association etc. Series of meetings and a State-level Convention were held under the common banner. A delegation also met the then Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and presented memorandum with certain demands for curbing the menace of 'witch' hunting. Finally the State Government was forced to introduce a Bill in the Assam Assembly. The Assembly passed the “The Assam Witch Hunting ( Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2015" unanimously in August, 2015. However, the Bill passed by the Assembly has been awaiting the approval of the Union ministry of Home Affairs for more than two years. Now the government's efforts for a strict law against witch-hunting came to a standstill. The Bill made 'Witch' hunting a cognisable, non-bailable and non-compoundable offence.
2. The Ellora Vigyan Mancha played the pivotal role for holding the once proposed North-East Regional NHRC-JSA Public Hearings on Health Rights ( Public and Private Health Care Sectors). Various other organizations , mainly the Assam Science Society, Gyan-Vigyan Samiti, CRU (NER), OKD Institute. TISS and others joined hands and formed Joint Coordination Committee for successfully holding the Public Hearings in Guwahati. A Regional Workshop was also held on 1st.November, 2015 at OKD Institute of Social Change and Development in Guwahati. Delegates from Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura also participated in the Regional Workshop and it was financially supported by the 'SATHI’ of Mumbai. In a later stage, however, the NHRC back tracked and the Public Hearings could not be held for reasons best known to the NHRC
3. The Ellora Vigyan Mancha, every year, has been observing 'Anti-Superstition Day' throughout the Stat on December 10, the Birth Anniversary of Hemchandra Baruah, an outstanding literary figure of 19th Century Assam and one of the pioneers of movements against superstition. The year-wise central programmes were held in the following places : 1) 10 December, 2015 held at Kanoi College Dibrugarh, 2) 10-11 December, 2016- held at Dakshin Kamrup College, Mirza, 3) 9-10 December, 2017- held at Mangaldoi Natya Mandir Mangaldoi Town.
4. The Mancha also observes 15 May every year as its 'Foundation Day' across the State. The Central Programme was held at Bongaigaon Kanya Mahabidayalaya on 15th May, 2017, In 2015 and 2016 the Central Programme was held in Guwahati.
5. The last State Conference of the Ellora Vigyan Mancha was held in Guwahati on October 1st and 2nd ,2016 with massive success. The Conference was attended and inaugurated by AIPSN President Sabyachasi Chatterjee. Astrophysicist Prof. Prajval Shastri was the chief guest and appointed speaker. Dr. Chandra Mohan Sarma was elected as President, while Dr. Paramananda Majumdar and Kamalesh Gupta were elected as Working President and General Secretary respectively.
6. During the Intervening period, the Vigyan Mancha has organized series of programmes like awareness campaigns against ‘Witch’ hunting ,other forms of superstitions , health awareness , blood donation , eye donation and organ donation camps, etc. Some of programmes were organized jointly with the Assam Science Society , Gyan-Vigyan Samiti and other like minded organizations. The last blood donation camp was held at Dakshin Kamrup College ,Mirza on 23rd July, 2017. A total of 53 person donated blood voluntarily.
7. A State-level two-day Workshop on 'Superstition and Black Magic' was organized in Guwahati on 8-9 July, 2017. The Pachim Banga Vigyan Manch (PBVM) extended full help and cooperation in organizing the Workshop. A team of resource persons came from Siliguri (WB) to train the activists of the EVM. The ASTEC also provided some financial assistance for making the programmes a success.
8. The SDHD programmes were organized jointly with the constituents of the AIPSN in Assam. (The reports of the SDHD programmes are enclosed in separate report.
9. From January 15, 2015 a total of 33 (thirty three) cadaver bodies were donated to the five Government Medical Colleges in Assam for medical research and enrichment of medical science through Ellora Vigyan Mancha. The families of the deceased persons who pledged their bodies before death also extended full support and cooperation. The year wise list of donor's is enclosed herewith.
The main constituent organizations affiliated to the AIPSN in Assam are : (1) the Assam Science Society, (2) Gyan-Vigyan Samiti , Assam and (3) Ellora Vigyan Mancha.
In addition to these three major organization , the CRU(NER) , an affiliated body of the FMRAI , has also been working as part of the AIPSN in Assam . These four organization have jointly been working under the banner of the AIPSN on many issues .
(1) Assam Science Society , the most premier Science Organization , has been working for science popularization and promoting scientific temper. The major activities include ; (a) publication of books for science popularization and on basic science and (b) organization of technical session by inviting scientific paper and publication of journals .
(2) The Gyan-Vigyan Samiti, Assam was initially formed by the Assam Science Society for literacy campaigns and now working independently under the direction and guidance of the BGVS. They are also carrying out certain projects under the State Resource Center (SRC). In most cases, however, the GVSA independently takes up issues related to literacy movements , science popularization and social issues like health and hygiene . It also organizes children’s science festival, etc.
(3) The Ellora Vigyan Mancha has engaged itself in fighting all forms of superstition and blind belief and for spreading scientific temper amongst the people . The major issues being taken up include : menace of ‘witch’ hunting , black magic, sorcery , wizardry ,fraudulent healer or quackery , false beliefs in astrology and gemstones , so called ‘Godman’ , etc . As part of its activities , the Ellora Vigyan Mancha also takes up the issues related to people’s health and hygiene , environment and climate change, science popularization , etc. The major activities of the organization has been the campaigns for voluntary blood donation , eye donation, organ donation or whole body donation for enrichment of medical science and of mankind .
(4) The CRU (NER) is basically an organization of the Medical and Sales Representative affiliated to the FMRAI. It’s also involved in science movements and takes up issues like health and drug policies .
(1) State Campaign Committee was formed with the inclusion of representatives of all the member organizations of the AIPSN and a section of science loving individuals and prominent personalities. Dr. Mahanta Kalita is the President and Najibuddin Ahmed is the General Secretary of the State Campaign Committee in Assam.
(2) The SDHD Campaign was launched on 7 November, 2016, the Birth Anniversary of C.V. Raman at Pragjyotish College, Guwahati. After flag hoisting, inaugural functions were held with students' rally, science exhibition, kalajatha and meeting.
(3) Children Science Festival was organized at Nityananda High School, Pathsala on 20-23 December, 2016. The programmes include science popularization, exchange of views, joy of learning, procession, sight seeing for environmental awareness, etc. During the five-day programmes, Workshop on Problems and Prospects of Agriculture was also held on 22 December at Nityananda M.E. School. Technical session was held for training resource persons along with inter-active session with the peasant participants.
(4) Cycle Jatha and farmers' interactions with Agricultural Scientists were held at Chayagaon on 19 January, 2017. Cycle Jatha, Kala Jatha, public meetings were also held. The Krishi Vikash Kendra, Kahikushi extended partial help.
(5) A seminar on the New Education Policy was held at Pichala, Narayanpur in connection with the biennial session of the Assam Science Society on 29 January, 2017 under the AIPSN banner. The Assam Oil Division (AOD) and OIL extended partial financial support.
(6) On 14 February 2017 Cycle Rally followed by meeting held at three places : at North Guwahati College, Mirza and Sipajhar. These programmes were also partially supported by AOD and OIL.
(7) Discussions on Women Empowerment were held and Booklets on Campaign Theme were released at North Guwahati College on 15 February, 2017. AOD and OIL extended partial support.
(8) Workshop on 'Witch' hunting was held at Bijni under Bongaigaon district on 25 February, 2017. Case Reports and Study Papers were presented, Magic Show performed, discussion on proposed legislation on Prohibition of Witchcraft held. The OKD Institute of Social Change and Development extended support to the programme. The All Bodo Students' Union and Mission Birubala also joined.
(9) A discussion was held on 25 March, 2017 at the office of the Assam Science Society, Guwahati with the representatives of AIPSN Constituents where Kashinath Chatterjee from the BGVS also attended.
(10) In the months of July and August, 2017, the Assam Science Society launched a Campaign against Superstition across the State in cooperation with the Ellora Vigyan Mancha. Other constituent organizations also extended help and cooperation.
(11) A State level Workshop was held on 30 July, 2017 on the "National Health Policy, 2017" at Pragjyoti Cultural Complex, Guwahati. Former General Secretary of the AIPSN Dr. Amit Sengupta was the main speaker and resource person.
12) D. Raghunandan, former President of the AIPSN, addressed a public lecture on "S&T, Scientific Outlook and Development: Where is India Headed?" at Cotton University, Guwahati on August 3, 2017 .
(13) The ‘March for Science' was launched in Guwahati on 9 August, 201 7 by holding press conference and rallies at Guwahati and Jorhat. However, due to certain confusions and lack of coordination, the Guwahati rally was organized by the Breakthrough Science Society. We couldn't join in the rally as part of the SDHD campaigns. We gave a call for signature campaigns across the State in support of our demands.
In addition to the above programmes, local level programmes were held at different places. These were initiated either by individual organizations or held jointly.