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Google Doodle Honors Anandi Gopal Joshi, India’s First Female Doctor

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| March 31 , 2018 , 11:32 IST

Google on Saturday celebrated the birth anniversary of India’s first female doctor Anandi Gopal Joshi.

Born in 1865 in an extremely orthodox Brahmin family in Maharashtra, a 9-year old Anandi was married to a 29-year old widower Gopalrao Joshi. At the age of 14, Anandi lost her child because of lack of medical facilities. This encouraged Anandi to think of studying medicine. Gopalrao Joshi stood by her side and encouraged her. He became Anandi’s first teacher, teaching her English as well as Marathi. To avoid any family interference in her education, the couple shifted to Calcutta. Stories suggest that Gopalrao even physically assaulted her when he found her engaged in cooking or other domestic works instead of studying.        

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Anandi was to study medicine at the age of 16. In 1886, she returned to India with a degree from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (now known as Drexel University College of Medicine) with a dream of opening a medical college for women.

The Google doodle imagines Anandi Gopal Joshi celebrating her degree. It shows her holding her degree and wearing a stethoscope.

The doodle was created by Bangalore based artist Kashmira Sarode

Unfortunately, Anandi Joshi died within a year due to tuberculosis. While she could not fulfill her dream of opening a medical college for women, she became a source of inspiration to generations of women.

A crater in Venus is named after Joshi. This crater lies at lies at latitude 5.5° N and longitude 288.8° E.