Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Anandi Gopal Joshi: The Inspiring Story Of India's First Female Doctor

Her husband renamed her Anandi after marraige Her husband renamed her Anandi after marraige
Ray Hunter | 01 April, 2018, 02:46

Joshi was born with the name Yamuna, in Kalyan of Maharashtra's Thane district.

She was born in Yamuna, India, on March 31st, 1885, and was married by the age of nine to Gopalrao Joshi, a widower nearly 20 years older than her.

ANANDI Joshi may not be a name many people in Britain know - but she remains hugely significant in India to this day.

She was the first woman of Indian origin to study and graduate with a two-year diploma in medicine in the United States. He also renamed India's first lady doctor who was born with the name Yamuna as "Anandi". Gopalrao started teaching Anandi how to read and write Marathi, English and Sanskrit.

Gopalrao Joshi was a progressive thinker as he encouraged his young wife to study and gain knowledge. At sixteen, battling ill-health but determined to succeed, Joshi set sail for the US. The medical resources that was necessary for the child's treatment was unavailable at that time. Her work received praise from Kesari editor Lokmanya Tilak and even Queen Victoria sent her a congratulatory message.

She was eventually offered a place at Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania.

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This sparked the flame in Anandi to take up medical studies to which her husband Joshi not only agreed, but also encouraged as he was always a strong proponent of women's education, something rare in that era.

Joshi with a dream of opening a medical college for women came back to India in 1886. Anandi Gopal Joshi went on to inspire generations of women to pursue their higher education. He inspired her to proceed in medicine.

After obtaining a degree, she completed her thesis in obstetric practices among the ancient Hindus. She got a grand welcome and the princely state of Kolhapur appointed her as physician-in-charge of the female ward of the local Albert Edward Hospital.

While in America, she had contracted tuberculosis because of the cold weather and unfamiliar diet. Rachel Bodley, the then dean of the college enrolled her.

Joshi's young life was tragically cut short when she died of tuberculosis before she turned 22.

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