Published: Sun, April 01, 2018
Research | By Sheri Schwartz

Google doodles on Anandi Gopal Joshi's birth anniversary

Google doodles on Anandi Gopal Joshi's birth anniversary

According to her bio, Joshi came back to India in 1886 with a doctor's degree at the inspiring young age of just 19 years.

Joshi gave birth to a boy at the age of 14.

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

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. She was only 19 at the time. Rachel Bodley, the then dean of the college enrolled her.

Though he had married a child, a criminal offence in today's day and age but not considered so in the mid-nineteenth century, Gopalrao Joshi was a strong supporter of women's education.

Her husband encouraged her to study medicine. The Superintendent, inspired by her hardships that she endured to reach U.S. for a degree, offered her a seat with a scholarship of $600 for the entire program.

- In 1883, Gopalrao was transferred to Serampore, and he chose to send Anandibai by herself to America for her medical studies despite her poor health. But the household responsibilities could not clip the wings of this young woman's dream. Anandi secured a degree in medicine when she was 21 years from Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania (Drexel University College of Medicine).

"In 1886, a young doctor stepped off a ship from America, eager to take up the role of physician in charge of the female ward at Kolhapur's Albert Edward Hospital (with the nod of the then princely state of Kolhapur)".

Anandibai addressed the community and explained her desire to go to America and obtain a medical degree. As a mark of respect, her ashes were placed in a cemetery in Poughkeepsie in NY. Despite all that, she stayed motivated to complete her MD in medicine. The entire country was shaken by her death, and grand tributes were made to her life and work. But, on February 26, 1887, she passed away due to tuberculosis at the age of 22.

In her honour, the Institute for Research & Documentation in Social Sciences, Lucknow instituted the annual "Anandibai Joshi Award" and the Maharashtra government offers a fellowship named after her.

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