Meghalaya's Oldest Voter and First Padmashree Awardee Dead

Published: 01st February 2014 06:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st February 2014 06:59 PM   |  A+A-


Meghalaya's oldest voter and first Padmashree awardee from the state, Silverine Swer, passed away at the age of 103 at her residence in the city today after a brief illness, family sources said.           

Kong Sil, as she is affectionately called, passed away around 10:40 AM at her "step phyrnai" home at Riatsamthiah, a few hundred metres above the Umkhrah river.        

"She had not been eating well for the past two weeks. She became very weak and today morning she passed away peacefully. Doctors declared her dead," one of her relatives told PTI.         

A veteran who saw four wars - the two World Wars, and the Indo-China war and the Bangladesh liberation war involving India - Kong Sil was born on November 12, 1910, a few years after the 1897 earthquake rocked Shillong.        

She did her schooling from Welsh Mission Girls School and then attended Scottish Church College in then Calcutta. She completed her degree in 1932 before serving at different government and non-government organisations in various capacities, besides teaching in different schools in Arunachal Pradesh (the erstwhile North Eastern Frontier Agency).

Kong Sil joined as the assistant controller of rationing in 1944 during the World War II under the Assam government, and continued to serve till 1949.  

She was awarded Kaisar-i-Hind medal by the government for her efficiency and integrity while handling the rationing system and for her service to the Guides movement in Assam in 1946.      

Her 100th birthday was celebrated at a special function at the sprawling lawns of the Raj Bhavan in 2010. Meghalaya Governor RS Mooshahary and Arunachal Pradesh Governor J J Singh jointly hosted the event.

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