Meghalaya’s first Padma Shri awardee dies at 103

Silverine Swer  

Meghalaya’s oldest voter and the first Padma Shri awardee from the State, Silverine Swer, passed away at the age of 103 at her residence in the city on Saturday after a brief illness, family sources said.

Kong Sil, as she was affectionately called, passed away around 10:40 a.m. 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 on Saturday 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, the Sino-Indian 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 the 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 World War II under the Assam government, and continued to serve till 1949. — PTI

Silverine saw four wars, including

the World Wars