State's First Lady Graduate Bormoti Dai Turns 82: A Look Back at Her Inspiring Story

Jun Taki 

With inputs from the first grandson of Bormoti Dai 

It was a time back then when most parents thought it was more important for girls to work in the fields and help with household chores than for them to go to school.

However, a father in Borguli, a small village in the Mebo circle, was determined to send his only daughter to school.

Despite the social barriers that existed at the time, the father enrolled his daughter in a school in his village. She faced financial and physical hardships to pursue her education, but she continued to study and never gave up on her dream.

Years later, the daughter not only fulfilled her father's aspiration but went on to become the First Lady graduate from Arunachal Pradesh, proving to all women in the society that it was possible to break the mold and pursue their dreams.

Her name is Bormoti Dai. She turned 82 years old this year.

Today, Dai is a retired woman in her 80s. But she is still remembered as a pioneer for girls' education, and her story continues to inspire people.

Bormoti was born to Late Lipok Yirang and Late Kedi Yirang on August 17, 1941, at Borguli, a small village in the Mebo circle of East Siang District. 

She was the fourth and youngest of her siblings and the only daughter. Her father, Lipok Yirang, was a political interpreter.

Despite the mental, financial, and physical hardships she faced (including the lack of proper transportation facilities at that time ), she completed her elementary education at the village school and her secondary education at the Higher Secondary School in Pasighat in 1959 (which is now known as the Independence Golden Jubilee Government Higher Secondary School ).

She then went on to graduate from Lady Keane College in Shillong ( the then capital of NEFA, now Meghalaya) in 1963, becoming the first female graduate of  Arunachal Pradesh

In 1966, she married late Obang Dai (IAS), retired Divisional Commissioner East. They had two sons and a daughter.

Dai began her career as a junior teacher at the Higher Secondary School in Pasighat in 1968.  She completed her B.Ed. from the erstwhile Arunachal University in 1989, graduating in the maiden batch. This led to her promotion to vice principal of the same school.

In 1995, she was temporarily assigned the rank of principal, and in 1997, she was appointed principal. She retired as principal of the school in 2001.

For her selfless efforts to promote education, Dai was awarded the State Award for Teachers in 1985. In 1999, she was awarded the National Award for Teachers by the President of India.

At the ripe old age of 82, Bormoti Dai is still going strong. She is a loving and caring mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother to her three children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. 

She enjoys her hobbies of reading books, kitchen gardening, and flower gardening. She is also a strict educationalist who is passionate about promoting education.

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