Let’s remember the first Indian Woman Physician

31 Mar 2018  Sat

Anandi Gopalrao Joshi was one of the earliest Indian female physicians. She was the first woman of Indian origin to study and graduate with a two-year diploma in medicine in the United States. She is also believed to be the first Indian woman to set foot on the American soil.

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. Five years later, Joshi gave birth to a boy, but he soon died due to lack of medical care.

Her husband, Gopalrao Joshi, inspired her to educate herself at a time when education to women was not given due importance.

Amid pressure from family and society, Anandi was sent to America to pursue a degree in Medicine. She fulfilled her husband’s strenuous effort and graduated from Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMC) in 1886 with Kei Okami of Japan and Tabat Islambooly of Syria. All three became the first woman from their respective countries to obtain a degree in Western medicine.

In late 1886, Anandibai returned to India, receiving a grand welcome. The Princely State of Kolhapur appointed her as the physician-in-charge of the female ward of the local Albert Edward Hospital.

This special cover was released by the Department of Posts, Maharashtra Postal circle. The front of the cover showing the portrait of “Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi” and the Medical College Pennsylvania, USA” where she studied and a 5 Rupee stamp depicting “Women’s Empowerment”.

Image Courtesy: Google Images

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