Maya John Ingty, a noted woman peacemaker in the Northeast, passed away at Bethany Hospital, here today. She was 91 years of age.
Ingty is the first woman from the Karbi tribe to complete master’s degree was involved in social activities from her college days. She was also nominated North East Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for the cause of peace and human dignity.
She is strongly driven by her conviction that working for social justice issues should not be determined by caste, creed, or religious persuasions. She also mobilizes the youth and women – through group discussions, skill-building, and alternative ideas for sustainable development for women – towards education and employment as a means of drawing people away from the pervasive culture of the gun.
In 1958, she quit her government job and joined the Union Christian College, where she mobilized a group of women and formed a women’s association which conducted health programs, and started a primary school in the village. Maya, who has been involved with people who work in conflict situations, is well-known in the region, and is often sought out for counseling.
Maya has been instrumental in pushing for greater commitment to social issues by the church, and involvement with other secular and non-Christian peace organizations. As secretary of the Diocesan Board for Participatory Development, she has undertaken programs to help young people develop self-employment skills, which she believes will lead them away from the gun culture. Maya has also been active in ecological and conservation programs. It was through her initiative that vermicomposting training was imparted in Tinsukia (Upper Assam) as part of an eco-friendly waste control program. Since then, many young people, trained in this process, have taken up organic farming. With no skillset, and often without the support of a forum, Maya has been working single-mindedly with the marginalized in the villages since 1956.