Sunity D Sangma: Matriarch & Pioneer


When you’ve been entrusted, as I have, with the unenviable task of taking a richly lived life and making it a condensed version, daunting is the word you’re going to look for. Especially, if the life in question is your grandmother’s.

The warp and weft, the multi leveled existence and the myriad ways in which we mirrored her in small ways. Without the tyranny of imposition, was the real power someone like her wielded.

Sunity D Sangma was a formidable force. The most compelling person to meet. Impossible is nothing was written for her. Think of the best taglines from sports brands. You get the drift.

But it wasn’t just her family that witnessed her immense drive and ambition. Her motivation was the glue that held together communities at the seams. I suppose it was inevitable. That kind of pioneering spirit would send seismic waves of positive change, far and wide.

Born in Neperpety, Karbi Anglong on the 1st of March, 1930, Sunity passed her Matriculation in 1946 from Calcutta University. A distinguished career in social work and community service began a decade later in 1956, spanning three decades. A life force spent fostering advancements at both individual and societal levels. Long before social entrepreneur became a buzz word.

An activist at heart, her public service work was rewarded with many titles. Secretary of Neperpety Mahila Samiti, Founder President of Diphu Mahila Samiti; Member of Sub-Divisional Supply Advisory Board; Member of District Prohibitions Committee, Diphu; Member of Weaving Society, Diphu; President of Indian Council of Child Welfare, Diphu; President of Mahila Consumer Co-operative Society, Diphu; Member, Advisory Board of Civil Hospital, Diphu. The list goes on.

And exemplary wife and mother, her contribution to her husband’s political life cannot be overstated. The adulation for her husband the late BG Momin, MLA of Bokajan Constituency (1978-1981) was propelled partly by her magnetism.

A natural extension of the above led to her own political aspirations with her contesting the MLA and MDC (Bokajan Constituency) elections.

Countless acts of love have endeared her to the many blessed by her presence.

On the 24th of January, the Lord took her back into his arms. Sunity left peacefully in her sleep, knowing her work here is done. She leaves behind a veritable tribe of family, friends, members of the local church and generations bound by solidarity and affection.

It is but a trivial matter that even when her voice is silent, she deserves to be talked about.

Because in us she lives on.