Hometown: Mairang, Meghalaya, India Age: 56 Years Religion: Christianity
|Other name||Kong Mavis The Meghalayan|
|Full name||Mavis Patricia Dunn Mawlong 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 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)
• 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)
|Date of Birth||4 June 1906 (Monday)|
|Birthplace||Mairang, province of Eastern Bengal and Assam, British India (now Meghalaya, India)|
|Date of Death||Year, 1962|
|Place of Death||North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA), India (now a part of Meghalaya)|
|Age (at the time of death)||56 Years|
|Death Cause||Not known|
|Nationality||• British Indian (1906 – 1947)
• Indian (1947 – 1962)
|Hometown||Mairang, Meghalaya, India|
|School||• Welsh Mission Girls’ High School of Shillong
• Calcutta Girls’ Free School
• St. Thomas School, Calcutta
• Calcutta University (passed matriculation as a private student)
|College/University||• Diocesan College, Calcutta
• Calcutta University
|Educational Qualification(s)||• Diploma in Intermediate Course of Arts
• Bachelor of Arts
• Bachelor of Teaching (BT)
• Bachelor of Law The Meghalayan
|Religion||Presbyterianism (a form of Protestant Christianity) The Meghalayan|
|Ethnicity||Mawlong clan, which is a matrilineal clan of the Khasi tribe The New Indian Express|
|Relationships & More|
|Marital Status (at the time of death)||Unmarried|
|Parents||Father– H Dunn
Mother– Ka Helibon Lyngdoh (or Kong Helibon Mawlong; a successful businesswoman)
|Siblings||She had two sisters|
|Other relatives||Edward W. Dunn (civil engineer, Member of the Order of the British Empire)|
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). 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 and became 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. With her defeat, Mavis also ended her political career.
- From 1939 to 1945, Mavis held appointments in the Registration, Industries, and Cooperative departments.
- In 1946, Mavis was appointed as a member of a 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. 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. The Hindu 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 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 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.”
|↑1, ↑2, ↑4, ↑5, ↑8||The Meghalayan|
|↑3, ↑7||Meghalaya Monitor|
|↑6||The New Indian Express|
|↑9, ↑10||The Hindu|