Google honours India's first US-trained female doc on 153rd birthday

Google Doodle celebrates the birthday of India's first female doctor Anandi Gopal Joshi

“Her legacy and the path she paved for generations of women continues today,” Google writes about her in its blog

While she may be the first female doctor in India, her doodle appears in several Google homepages such as Google UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

She was born in Yamuna on March 31, 1865, in Thane district and got married to Gopalrao Joshi at the age of 9.

Anandi lived in Calcutta for a while, before going to the United States while.

In late 1886, Anandibai returned to India, receiving a grand welcome. Gopalrao started teaching Anandi how to read and write Marathi, English and Sanskrit. Luckily her husband encouraged Joshi to keep on education. Anandi was a strong woman as she battled ill health at that time and finally pursued her higher education in a foreign country. Gopalrao worked as a postal clerk in Kalyan.

She was then enrolled at the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania, from where she attained a medical degree.

- At the age of 14, Anandi lost her 10-day-old toddler, which promoted her to study medicine. A physician couple named Thornborn suggested that Anandi should apply to the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania. Keeping with the practice of that time, Yamuna was married to a widower, nearly 20 years her senior, at the age of nine.

Many have since walked in her footsteps to achieve their dreams and transform the Indian society, one of whom was Rukhmabai Raut - the first practicing Indian female physician in colonial India - who, too, was honoured by Google with a doodle on her birth anniversary five months ago. She did her thesis on "Obstetrics among the Aryan Hindoos". While in America, her health, which was already not a hundred per cent from her days in India, further deteriorated due to the cold weather and unfamiliar diet.

Anandi received praise from Kesari editor Lokmanya Tilak; even Queen Victoria congratulated her for this feat. The princely state of Kolhapur (now in Mumbai) appointed her the physician-in-charge of the female ward of the local Albert Edward Hospital.

Unfortunately, she wasn't keeping well and died just short of her 22nd birthday due to tuberculosis. As a mark of respect, her ashes were placed in a cemetery in Poughkeepsie in NY.

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