Shillong, Feb 1: Meghalaya’s first Padma Shri awardee, Silverine Swer, passed away Saturday at her residence here at the age of 103.
Swer received the Padma Shri Award from the then president R. Venkataraman in 1990.
Swer, who was also the oldest voter in this matrilineal state, was one of the stalwarts in the Girl Guides movement and imparted training at schools in Assam, Bangladesh and Mizoram.
“She was not keeping well for the past weeks and today (Saturday) morning, she passed away,” Swer’s relative said.
Soon after her graduation, Swer began her career in 1932. She served in various capacities at different government and non-government organisations. She worked as a high school teacher in several schools.
She was also an assistant controller of rationing during World War II under the Assam government. Swer was awarded Kaisar-i-Hind medal by the government for her efficiency and integrity while handling the rationing system and for service to the Guides movement in Assam.
When she turned 100, former Meghalaya governor R.S. Mooshahary and his then Arunachal Pradesh counterpart General (retired) J.J. Singh hosted a birthday party in her honour at the Meghalaya Raj Bhavan.
“She was one of the great daughters of Meghalaya. She had an active and a fulfilling life,” Mooshahary said.
Swer will be laid to rest Feb 3 at the Presbyterian Church, Mawkhar at Mission Compound here.