Meghalaya’s first Padmashree awardee no more

SHILLONG: Sitimon Sawian, the first Padmashree awardee from the State, passed away on Sunday following illness at her residence at Umsohsun. She was 92.
Sawain, an educationist and social worker was born on February 21, 1924. She was awarded the Padmashree in 1974.
She was an active member of the Seng Khasi, a socio-religious organization of the Khasis and took charge as Headmistress, Seng Khasi Primary School Mawkhar, Shillong, in 1955.
She then gradually raised it to the standard of Middle English school, then High School and finally to the Higher Secondary level in 1967.
The school was one of the two higher secondary schools in Khasi and Jaintia Hills at that time.
She relinquished the post of Principal in 1972 after she was incapacitated due to the aftereffect of anti-rabies injections.
She had served as member – Textbook Advisory Committee (Khasi), Khasi and Jaintia Hills from 1956- 61 and also as member of Syllabus Sub-committee (Khasi) under Board of Secondary Education, Assam from 1970 to 1972, member of Central Advisory Board Of Education (1967- 70) and member of Central Social Welfare Board (1976 -78).
She also functioned as member of the National Committee on the International Women’s Year (1975-1976), the National Committee on the International Women’s Decade and the Committee of the Working Group of the International Women’s Year, Meghalaya (1976).
Sawian was also a founder member, honorary secretary and treasurer of a women’s welfare organization – Ka Synjuk Kynthei.
She married Rev. B.M. Pugh in 1976.
She was also associated with a number of social organizations.
She was the founder chairperson of the Jeebon Roy Memorial Welfare Institute,    Shillong and also founder president of Indian Council for Child Welfare, Meghalaya, besides being the founder principal of Lakreh Memorial School, Umsohsun, and founder member of the North East Network.

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