Google today dedicated its doodle to mark the 153rd birth anniversary of India’s first lady doctor Anandi Gopal Joshi. Anandi secured a degree in medicine, when she was 21, from Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (Drexel University College of Medicine). Born in an orthodox family in Maharashtra on March 31, 1865, she was married to a widower thrice her age when she was just nine. After five years, Joshi gave birth to a boy, but he soon died due to lack of medical care. Her husband, Gopalrao Joshi, played an important part in her early education as he encouraged her to continue her education.
Anandi lived in Calcutta for a while, before going to the United States. She was a strong woman as she battled ill health at that time and pursued her higher education in a foreign country.
The doodle is created by Bengaluru-based artist Kashmira Sarode, who portrayed Joshi celebrating her medical degree. As Google writes in its blog, “In 1886, a young doctor stepped off a ship from America, eager to take up the role of a physician in charge of the female ward at Kolhapur’s Albert Edward Hospital. Not only was she India’s first female doctor, but she was only 19 years old at the time. Her name was Anandi Gopal Joshi, and her story is one of courage and perseverance.”
She earned her medical degree from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania and returned to India with dreams of opening a medical college for women.
According to the blog, Joshi’s young life was tragically cut short when she died of tuberculosis before her 22nd birthday. However, her legacy and the path she paved for generations of women continues today.