Google Doodle today is honouring another of India’s unsung hero, Dr. Anandi Gopal Joshi on her birthday. She was the first Indian female to get a degree in medicine. Celebrated for breaking gender barriers, she stood as a pinnacle of hope for India’s females during her time. Having earned her degree at the age of 19 in 1886 she returned to Indian to practice medicine but unfortunately died at 22 due to Tuberculosis contracted abroad during her studies.
Today as Google Doodle honours her on her 153rd birthday, her stories inspires us even more. Married at the age of nine to a widower 20 years elder to her in Maharashtra, she conceived at 14 but due to young age birth complications, the child died 10 days later in the absence of medical care. It was her progressive thinking husband who encouraged her to take up medicine at 16, letting her set off on a ship to USA. She earned her degree at Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (now known as Drexel University College of Medicine). She dreamed of opening a medical college for women in India.
Joshi’s dreams may have been cut short due to her untimely death but her legacy was carried forward by Rukhmabai who became the first practicing female doctor in India. She earned her degree from London School of Medicine for Women in 1894. A movie is also in the making titled Doctor Rukhmabai played by Tannishtha Chatterjee. The teaser of the film even mentions Anandi.
Google Doodle had also honoured Rukhmabai six months ago during her birthday. Today’s Doodle has been created by Bengaluru-based artist Kashmira Sarode. He imagined Joshi to be celebrating her degree. The Doodle has been featured in Canada, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Iceland, the UK, Croatia, Serbia, Greece, Australia and New Zealand.