Anandi Joshi- who became India’s first woman doctor at 21, and died at 22

We often forget unsung heroes who made the country proud. They deserve all the credits for carving out a reputation for themselves as successful minds. They knew the value of time and continued to work day in day out to reach greater heights. Their success serves as a testament to the fact.

With sheer grit, dedication and determination, those heroes have set a perfect example for the present and future generations. If you ask a successful person’s role model today, he or she would cite the icon that they admired of their generation and that’s true to the fact.

Credits: Wikipedia

As they say, when great minds speak, it’s more important to give an ear in a bid to come through with flying colours. We witnessed successful people of today’s generation and they are up to an esteemed position because they followed the footprints of their role models.

Now let’s get back to the main story:

If you are well aware of Anandi Joshi, then it’s well and good. But if you don’t know, here is the perfect time to know about her. You’ll really be amazed after reading her story. Anandi Joshi was born on March 31, 1865, in Maharashtra’s Thane district.

At a time when girls were not educated, Anandi Joshi became the first woman of Indian origin to graduate with a degree in medicine in the United States. She became an inspiration to generations of women to pursue their education. their further education.

During the mid 19th century, Anandi Joshi was forced to marry at a very young age – 9 years, as it was a custom at that time. She got married to a person who is 30 years old. His name is Gopalrao and served as a postal clerk in the same town where Anandi Joshi used to live.

Anandi Gopal Joshi was 14 when she first became a mother, but unfortunately, her baby died in 10 days owing to lack of medical attention and facilities. She was heartbroken and faced extreme sadness at fourteen.

She understood what was really missing in the country and finally decided to do work on healthcare in India. She told her partner Gopalrao about that she was keen to become a doctor – a physician. Gopalrao backed her decision to pursue medicine and that’s when the Anandi’s journey started.

Anandi’s husband Gopalrao Joshi wrote a letter to an American missionary requesting if Anandi Joshi could follow her education in the United States. He was so supportive to his wife and even asked about a suitable job for himself so that he could be with her.

But in 1883, when Gopalrao Joshi was transferred to Serampore (currently West Bengal). With no option left, he convinced Anandi to go to the United States all alone. Before that, Gopalrao had some strong words for her wife as he told her to set an example for all other women in India to nurture their dreams of pursuing higher education.

Anandi Gopal Joshi alone applied to the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania and was successfully granted admission. She travelled to from Calcutta (present-day Kolkata) to New York by ship. She started her medical training and entered into the grand scheme of things when she was 19. In America, her health, which was already not so good from her stint in India, further collapsed due to the cold weather and unfamiliar diet.

When things had gone from bad to worse, she faced tuberculosis and despite that, she stayed focused and motivated to do her MD in medicine. She made the headlines for all the right reasons and got much publicity in the Indian presser. After her graduation, the then Queen of England, Empress of India, Queen Victoria conveyed her heart-filled message.

When she arrived India in 1886, she received a sensational welcome and was recruited as the physician-in-charge at the Albert Edward Hospital in the state of Kohlapur (currently Maharashtra).

On February 26, 1887, a month prior to her 22nd birthday, Anandi Gopal Joshi passed away due to tuberculosis. Her desire to open her own medical college for women remained unfulfilled. Her death hit the headlines across India and the country was filled with tears after the announcement. As a token of respect, her ashes were kept in a cemetery in Poughkeepsie in New York.

In her tribute, the Institute for Research and Documentation in Social Sciences (IRDS), an NGO from Lucknow, still awards the ‘Anandibai Joshi Award for Medicine’ in honour of her initial contributions to the origin of advancing medical science in India. Also, the Government of Maharashtra established a fellowship in Anandi Gopal Joshi’s name.

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