(1908 – 1977)
Mini Amonz was an ideal educationist, social worker and
a teacher who won the affection and respect of thousand of students, a
friend of her colleagues in times of hopes and frustrations, happiness and
misery. She was the eldest daughter of retired police accountant late
Jagat Chandra Das.
Mini Amonz was born on 28th November, 1908
in the Christian patty of Sivasagar town. She lost her mother at the age
of two and a half years. After her mother’s death mini was brought up by
her grandmother Mrs. Dalsi Manson. Mrs. Manson was an assistant teacher of
No.3 primary School. Because of this atmosphere at home, Amonz had a habit
of school going at a very early age. Under the tutelage of her grandmother
she obtained a scholarship in the Primary Examination.
As there was no high English school for girls in
Sivasagar, Mini Amonz father moved her grandmother’s house to admit her in
Saint Mary’s convent school at Chittagong. Entrusting her in the care of
the mother and sister s of the boarding school, her father returned to his
working palace, Silchar. After two years of her mothers’ deaths her father
married a Brahma girl and adopted Brahmo religion. Her stepmother loved
and cared for her like her own daughter. Because of some family problems
Amonz’s father moved her from the convent school and admitted her to
Silchar Mission High School. In her school days Mini Amonz’s was a
favorite of the teachers and friends as well as. But occasionally she had
to face some difficulties. Since her father was frequently transferred to
various palaces she had obstructions in her studies .But she could
overcome these obstacles and passed M.E Examination successfully.
Thereafter, when her father was transferred to Ludsai Hills and at the
time her grandmother was ill, Minnie Amonz Aunt sent attendant to
accompany her to Sivasagar.
Her grandmother to relieve her grief at the loss of her
own daughter, refused to send Mini back with her father. This attitude of
her grandmother hurt her father and he returned alone.
During that time there was no English School in
Sivasagar. But for the Endeavor of Late Radhikanath Sharma an English
School was started. Mini Amonz’s grandmother admitted her to that school.
At present that school is known as Phuleswari High School. Though Mini
Amonz continued her studies with endless efforts and care, she failed to
appear in the School Final Examination. Subsequently she had to leave the
school. Though difficult situations posed as stumbling block on her way
higher studies, Amonz continued her studies throughout her life.
Thereafter Mini Amonz’s grandmother arranged her marriage with William
Amonz, the grandson of an eminent Christian writer, Nidhiram Farewell of
Arunodoy era. After a few years of her marriage she lost her daughter and
returned to her grandmother’s house with two surviving children. Since
there was none to look after her grandmother she had to tend her.
On 16th August, 1925, Mrs. Amonz started her
teaching career in the Dhai Ali L. P. School at Sivasagar. After serving
that school for four years she joined the No. 2 Town Girls School as the
Headmistress. She served this school till the day of her retirement. In
conversation about the students she taught, she very proudly referred to
the name of famous literature Dr. Nirmal Prova Bordoloi. In her school
days Dr. Bordoloi was her most favorite student.
Mini Amonz spent most of her lifetime amidst young
children. In 1958 Mrs. Amonz lost her only son untimely. Distressed by the
death of her son, she devoted herself to the cultivation of literature. As
a result three books for children authored by Mrs. Amonz were published.
These are – ‘Tirthayatri’, ‘Bibel Sourav’ and ‘MaramiAita’. Apart from
these three books, she left one manuscript titled ‘Sadhutali’. These books
are a great contribution to Assamese literature.
Accepting the valuable contributions of the
Missionaries as an idle and spending her lifetime among young students,
Mrs. Amonz was great teacher. She always insisted on applying a method of
teaching that suits a child’s mind. And she wholeheartedly devoted herself
to this work. After completing their higher studies many students of Mrs.
Amonz now hold high- level positions. She was popularly known as ‘Mini
Bideu’ and the No. 2 Girls School is still known as Mini Bideu’s school.
With great effort in 1955, she established a hall for
the children in No.2 Girl’s School. At present the same children’s hall is
moved to Sivasagar Lakshminath Bezbaruah Bhawan. The Government of India
in recognition of her valuable service as a teacher conferred on her the
highest award – the ‘President’s Award on 22nd November, 1963
in New Delhi. She is the first Assamese lady to win the president’s Award.
Mini Amonz was a skilled social worker too. Right from
the year 1925 she joined Women’s Organization. Moreover, she was actively
associated with some Welfare organization like Girls Guide, Red Cross etc.
From the time the Mass Movement of 1942, she devoted herself to tending
Eri Silkworm, spinning etc. and continued this habit to the end of her
life. She had an untiring Zeal to nurse sick people and to help the
neighbors in times of their difficulties. For this service she was
respected by one and all.
The present generations of students are not familiar
with the name of this great teacher. But once she had very close
relationship with the educational circle of Sivasagar.
She was very methodical. Not only in her own house, but she arranged
everything in proper order in her school also. Mini Amonz was a strict
disciplinarian and she guided her colleagues to work in a disciplined
manner. Braving all obstacles of her life, she spent her eventful days in
She was a religious minded lady .Her faith in god is
reflected in her works.
The public of Sivasagar felicitated her after she had
won the national Award. Her words expressing her gratitude to the public
are quoted here:
"Respected President and Honorable Public assembled
here, I thought I was playing with the little children. But after
receiving the Award from the Central Government I feel that my hard work
has become fruitful. The public appreciation and recognition has confirmed
my belief once again. I spent the long days of my life in the company of
the pieces of chalk and blackboard. You have given me advantages and
inspiration to sow the seeds of knowledge by removing the films of dust
from the minds of the children. In return of your encouragement and
inspiration I have nothing to offer you but mf heartfelt thanks. I am
deprived of all worldly possessions. May the life of these children
illumine like the rays of moon with your blessings! May God grant me
strength enough to observe their bright and cheerful faces? Namaskar".
These words came out of the core of her heart.
In the year 1971, Mrs. Amonz retired from service. Even
then she did not discontinue her studies. But as her heath deteriorated
she had to be confined in bed for sometime.
On 2nd March, 1977, at the age of seventy
six, Mini Amonz left of her heavenly abode leaving behind her only
daughter, widowed daughter-in- law and three grandchildren at her home.
With her humbleness and simplicity Mini Amonz could win the hearts of not
only the children but each and everyone she was in touch with.