People react to adversities and hardships around them differently. While some are unable to process the sad news, others find motivation to bring a change. Binny Yanga, a crusader of the destitute was one such person who rescued girls of Arunachal Pradesh from the shackles of child marriage and sexual harassment. Not only did she save the girls, but she also brought them to her shelter home, and imparted education and vocational training.
Binny Yanga was born on 7 July 1958 in Arunachal Pradesh, India. She studied in Banasthali, Rajasthan and worked as a teacher in Dokum village. She was also amongst the first women in the police force in Arunachal Pradesh.
Binny’s father was a political assistant and a renowned social activist,and she grew up watching him fight social stigmas and showing compassion to people who suffered. Growing up with such an inspirational father, she too nurtured the dream to do something for the people.
Arunachal Pradesh,the state of the rising sun and tremendous beauty, is a backwards state in education and many other aspects. The girls Binny helped, were victims of sexual assaults and as a result, young mothers. Unfortunately, due to the stigma attached to rape survivors, and unwed mothers, they had to abandon their children. They were considered indecent in society and this unfair labelling of these poor girls pained Binny. She quit her job in the Police force, started working for these victims and destitute, and started campaigns against social problems such as child marriage, forced marriage and dowry.
Binny devoted 33 years of her life towards the upliftment of such victims and became a torchbearer of education for the poor and underprivileged. She started shelter homes and rehabilitation centres for the oppressed girls and women. She founded Oju Welfare Association, an NGO that works towards education, health and upliftment of socially disadvantaged sections. The organisation also promotes the teaching of income generation activities and vocational training of tribal women of the state. She started an orphanage for children where they lovingly called her ‘Mummy’.
Speaking to The Logical Indian, her brother Bini Tanya said,”She was committed to fighting against all the parasites of society. She led the Oju mission and people loved her.”
Despite being diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2007, she continued to work for Oju Welfare Association (OWA), which hosts around 338 orphans and destitute. Binny was conferred the Padma Shri in 2012.
Binny lost her long and painful battle with cancer and passed away in September last year in Guwahati, Assam. But she is still alive through her altruism and work. Binny was an extraordinary lady, a devoted social worker, a concerned mother and a determined leader.
The Logical Indian salutes the spirit of Binny Yanga and thanks her and her family for all the lives they have changed.