Google celebrates India's first female physician with a doodle

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This tragedy inspired Joshi to become a physician.

Finally, in 1883, Joshi chose to send his young wife alone to the United States for her medical studies despite her poor health condition, and urged her to inspire other women to higher studies by setting an example.

Google today celebrated the 153rd birthday of Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi, one of the earliest Indian female physicians, with its doodle that shows her wearing a green saree and holding a degree with a stethoscope around her neck. Her dream was to open a medical college for women. 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.

She was a child bride who bore her child at the age of 14 and her child could survive only 10 days due to the utter lack of medical care in her locality.

This was said to have been a turning point for the grieving mother, who developed an interest in medicine.

One of the Venus' crater was named after Anandi Gopal Joshi. Although she couldn't fulfill her dreams, she continued to inspire many young girls to pursue medicine.

In 1880 he sent a letter to Royal Wilder, a well-known American missionary stating Anandibai's interest in studying medicine in the United States and inquiring about a suitable post in the USA for himself.

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Under Wilder's guidance, Anandibai published a correspondence in Princeton's Missionary Review. Theodicia Carpenter, a resident of Roselle, New Jersey, happened to read it while waiting to see her dentist. A progressive thinker, Gopalrao encouraged his young wife to study. The young lady wrote a letter to the Medical College of Pennsylvania seeking for admission into their medical programme.

Anandibai travelled to NY from Calcutta by ship, accompanied by two female English acquaintances of the Thornborn family. Her ashes were sent to her hostess Carpenter to be kept in her family cemetery in Poughkeepsie, New York. Keeping with the practice of that time, Yamuna was married to a widower, nearly 20 years her senior, at the age of nine.

Anandibai addressed the community and explained her desire to go to America and obtain a medical degree.

Queen Victoria had also sent her congratulatory message on her graduation. Facing such huge trauma and sadness at fourteen, she chose to do something about healthcare in India.

She was only 19 when she became the physician in charge of the female ward at Albert Edward Hospital in Kolhapur. Her health had significantly declined due to cold and unfamiliar weather and diet. After a few months, she passed away because of tuberculosis on February 22, 1887 at the age of 22. Her death was mourned throughout India.

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.