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Tue, 13 Nov 2018

Northeast Today

Superstitions Keep Villagers Away From Social Schemes

Superstitions Keep Villagers Away From Social Schemes
November 04
10:06 2018

NET Bureau

Due to fear of the Armageddon and the belief that the Aadhaar card is linked to the number of the beast, many villagers from Lynshiing in East Khasi Hills district have closed themselves from the rest of the world for some time now.

In Biblical terms, Armageddon refers to the end of the world and the number of the beast is something that is linked to evil. Therefore, many villagers at Lynshiing under the Mawkynrew Block have refused to enrol themselves in the Government’s social welfare schemes.

The district administration has been trying to convince the villagers not to fall prey to superstitions. The district administration held a special awareness programme on Friday to wean them away from their superstitious beliefs.

Officials said that many Lynshiing villagers have given up their National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) job cards and some have even refused to vote, arguing there was no point when the world is coming to an end and the EVMs are linked with the Aadhaar card.

Mawkynrew Block Development Officer LT Tariang said that out of the 66 Village Employment Councils (VECs), eight VECs have stopped functioning due to such beliefs.

He said that many villagers have also opted out from the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. The villagers have also shied away from the ongoing measles-rubella vaccination campaign and refused to get their children vaccinated.

The BDO said that vested interest groups are spreading these superstitions among the villagers. Although the district administration is aware of such groups, they have not been booked so far.

Now the district administration, NGOs and traditional heads are working together to counter these beliefs and are trying to convince the villagers through awareness programmes.

Due to the tireless efforts of the district administration, NGOs and traditional heads, these villagers are slowly coming forward. Some of the villagers said that they had expected that the world would come to an end in 2016 and since that did not happen, they have now come forward.

“Our efforts are paying dividends and we have been able to convince the villagers about the benefits of the government schemes,” Tariang said.

SOURCE: The Assam Tribune

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