Mavis Dunn Lyngdoh Age, Death, Husband, Family, Biography & More

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Hometown: Mairang, Meghalaya
Religion: Christianity
Age: 56 Years

Mavis Dunn Lyngdoh

Other nameKong Mavis [1]The Meghalayan
Full nameMavis Patricia Dunn Mawlong [2]The Meghalayan
Famous for• Being the first woman from the Indian subcontinent to become a cabinet minister
• Being the first woman from the Khasi tribe to become an MLA in the undivided Assam Legislative Assembly [3]Meghalaya Monitor
Political Journey• Contested the Indian provincial elections from the Shillong constituency and won as an independent candidate (1937)
• Joined Sir Syed Muhammad Saadulla’s government as a cabinet minister in Assam (1939)
• Became the Health minister of Assam (1939)
• Held portfolios of the Registration, Industries, and Cooperative departments
• Ended her political career after defeat in the provincial elections (1946)
Personal Life
Date of Birth4 June 1906 (Monday)
BirthplaceMairang, province of Eastern Bengal and Assam, British India (now Meghalaya, India)
Date of DeathYear, 1962
Place of DeathNorth-East Frontier Agency (NEFA), India (now a part of Meghalaya)
Age (at the time of death)56 Years
Death CauseNot known
Zodiac signGemini
Nationality• British Indian (1906 - 1947)
• Indian (1947 - 1962)
HometownMairang, Meghalaya, India
School• Welsh Mission Girls’ High School, Shillong
• Calcutta Girls’ Free School, Calcutta (now Kolkata)
• St. Thomas School, Calcutta (now Kolkata)
• Calcutta University (passed matriculation as a private student in 1922)
College/University• Diocesan College, Calcutta
• Calcutta University
Educational Qualification(s)• Diploma in Intermediate Course of Arts at Diocesan College (1924)
• Bachelor of Arts at Diocesan College (1927)
• Bachelor of Teaching (BT) at Calcutta University (1930)
• Bachelor of Law at Calcutta University (1933) [4]The Meghalayan
ReligionPresbyterianism (a form of Protestant Christianity) [5]The Meghalayan
EthnicityMawlong clan, which is a matrilineal clan of the Khasi tribe [6]The New Indian Express
Relationships & More
Marital Status (at the time of death)Unmarried
ParentsFather- H Dunn
Mother- Ka Helibon Lyngdoh (or Kong Helibon Mawlong; a successful businesswoman)
SiblingsShe had two sisters
Other relativesEdward W. Dunn (civil engineer, Member of the Order of the British Empire)

Mavis Dunn Lyngdoh

Some Lesser Known Facts About Mavis Dunn Lyngdoh

  • Mavis Dunn Lyngdoh was an Indian politician who became the first woman from the Indian subcontinent to become a cabinet minister. She was also the first woman from the Khasi tribe to become an MLA in 1937 in the Assam Legislative Assembly. In 1962, Mavis Dunn Lyngdoh died at the age of 56 in the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA). [7]Meghalaya Monitor
  • In 1935, the British government implemented the Government of India Act which mandated the conduct of 1936 provincial elections in India. In the provincial elections, Mavis Dunn Lyngdoh contested as an independent candidate and secured a seat in the Assam Legislative Assembly from the Shillong constituency.
  • In 1939, she joined the Assam government, which was led by Sir Syed Muhammad Saadulla. In the same year, she became a cabinet minister following which she was appointed as the Health Minister. While talking about it, A S Mawlong. the general secretary of the Mawlong clan said,

    She was elevated as a minister in the Assam Province in 1939. So, we can say that in the whole of the North East, she was the first woman minister, and second to Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit in the country who became the first lady minister in pre-independent India in 1937.”

  • As a minister of health, Mavis Dunn Lyngdoh oversaw the establishment of the Assam Red Cross Society (ARCS). She also passed a resolution in the legislative assembly, which allowed nurses from private institutes to become nurses in government-run hospitals. She resigned as the Minister of Health in 1946 after she was defeated in the provincial elections. From 1939 to 1945, Mavis held appointments in the Registration, Industries, and Cooperative departments.
  • With her defeat in the 1946 provincial elections, Mavis ended her political career.
  • In 1946, Mavis was appointed as a member of the committee that engaged in a dialogue with the British and the Indian governments to establish the Federation of Khasi States.
  • In 1947, after India gained independence from Britain, Mavis served in the Assam state government’s Advisory Council as a member. There, she advised the government regarding the functioning of the District Councils.
  • Later, Mavis visited several educational institutes in the US and the UK, where she gave speeches to the students. After staying in the UK for several years, Mavis returned to India.
  • In 1962, aged 52, Mavis Dunn Lyngdoh breathed her last in North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) (now a part of Meghalaya), India. [8]The Meghalayan
  • Mavis was not only the first female cabinet minister of India but also the first woman from the Khasi tribe to drive a car. She was also the first woman from the Khasi tribe to earn a law degree. [9]The Hindu [10]The Hindu
  • In 1947, after India amalgamated Meghalaya in itself, Mavis Dunn met with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Mumbai, where she explained to him the functioning of the chiefdoms in the northeastern states and requested him to not abolish the chiefdoms in the northeast like it was done in other princely states in India.
  • In 1989, a book was written about her by the author Hamlet Bareh.
  • In Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, a 700-meter-long road stretching from Mawkhar to Motphran and Iewduh (or Bara Bazaar) was renamed Mavis Dunn Mawlong Road by the Meghlayan government in 2004.
  • The speaker of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Metbah Lyngdoh wrote a letter to Chief Minister Conrad Kongkal Sangma in 2022, requesting him to erect a statue in honour of Mavis Dunn Lyngdoh. In the letter, he said,

    The nation is remembering all the unsung heroes during the celebrations to mark the 75 years of the independence. Mavis Dunn Lyngdoh is no less than a hero and her contribution to the health sector in the north eastern region deserves recognition. She was also a role model for women from the marginalised communities in independent India and for making a mark in the public life. I would like to request the government to consider putting a full size statue of Late Mavis Dunn Lyngdoh, on the premises of the State Central Library and honour her achievement and service to our people.”