In honour of Anandi Gopal Joshi's birth anniversary, Google has dedicated its doodle today to her life and work. Following the child-marriage tradition, she was married at age 9 to Gopalrao Joshi, a widower who was 20 years older to her. Keeping with the practice of that time, Yamuna was married to a widower, nearly 20 years her senior, at the age of nine. It was Gopalrao who encouraged his wife to pursue her education and her interest in medicine. Her husband Gopalrao Joshi could not avoid her dream to study further. In those days, it was common for Brahmins to be proficient in Sanskrit.
- Fortunately, Joshi was a progressive thinker, and supported education for women, which was not very prevalent at the time. She chose to study medicine in the USA.
ANANDI Joshi may not be a name many people in Britain know - but she remains hugely significant in India to this day.
However, on learning of her academic plans, the staunch Hindu conservative society of that time took strong objections. But, in her community address at the Serampore College Hall, she spoke about the persecution she and her husband had endured.
Though she died young, Anandi succeeded in inspiring subsequent generations to live their dreams.
Accordingly, she was advised to apply to the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania (now known as Drexel University College of Medicine), the world's only second medical school exclusively for women launched in 1850.
Barley 18, she secured admission to the WMCP and was enrolled by Rachel Bodley, the Dean of the august institution. In 1886, at the age of 21, she graduated from Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMC) with Kei Okami of Japan and Tabat Islambooly of Syria, who became the first woman to obtain a degree in Western medicine. On her graduation, Queen Victoria sent her a congratulatory message.
When she returned to India, she was received amid great celebrations.
Anandibai came back to India in 1886 and the princely state of Kolhapur, Maharashtra appointed her as the physician in charge of the female ward at Albert Edward Hospital.
Amidst the achievement, Anandibai's health significantly declined due to cold and unfamiliar weather and diet.