Anandibai Joshi, whom some people also know as Anandi Gopal Joshi and Yamuna, is India’s first female doctor. Her date of birth is 31 March 1865. At a time when it was difficult for women to get elementary education, it was a great achievement to study Anandibai as a doctor.
She was the first Indian woman to get a 2-year medical degree from the United States after her graduation. With this, Anandibai was also the first Indian woman to visit America’s land.
Dr. Anandibai Joshi Important Information and Wiki
|Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi
|Date of Birth
|31 March 1865
|26 February 1887
|22 years at the time of death
|Boy (died on 10th day)
|MD (Doctor of Medicine)
|First female doctor of India
Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi Biography and Carrer
This first female doctor of India was born in the British period on 31 March 1865 in Kalyan City of Thane district, which is currently part of Maharashtra. She was born in a Hindu family and was named ‘Yamuna‘. She was married at the age of 9 to Gopalrao Joshi, which is 20 years older than her.
After marriage, Yamuna was renamed Anandi. Her husband used to work as a clerk in the post office in Kalyan, but after some time he was transferred to Alibag and finally to Calcutta (Kolkata).
Husband of Anandibai – Gopalrao Joshi
Gopalrao was a progressive thinker and promoting women education. The Brahmin families of that time used to promote Sanskrit more and studied it. But Gopalrao gave more importance to Hindi in his life than Sanskrit.
At that time Gopalrao saw the tendency towards Anandibai’s studies, he encouraged it and helped her to get an education and learn English.
Child of Anandibai and Gopalrao
5 years after their marriage, Anandibai gave birth to a child was a boy. At this time, she was only fourteen years old. But this child lived only for 10 days and died due to a lack of necessary health facilities. This incident became a matter of change in Anandibai’s life and then she decided to become a doctor.
Anandibai Joshi education
After Anandibai’s son’s death, her husband encouraged her to pursue a medical education. Seeing his wife’s interest in medicine, Gopalrao Joshi wrote a letter to the Royal Wilder College of America and applied for his wife’s education.
Royal Wilder College assured him of offers and help before her to embrace Christianity, but Anandibai declined it. Subsequently, a person named Theodicia Carpenter, a Roselle, New Jersey resident finds out about him, then writes him a letter and assures him of help with housing for America.
After this, Anandibai’s health started deteriorating in Calcutta. She began to have weakness, fever, constant headache and sometimes difficulty in breathing. Theodicia Carpenter sent her medicines from America, without results.
Meanwhile, in 1883, Gopalrao was transferred to Shrirampur (a city of Hooghly district in the Indian state of West Bengal) and he made his decision to send Anandibai abroad for medical studies at this time. By doing this, Gopalrao set an example for women education in front of people.
A doctor couple suggested to Anandibai to study at the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania.
But there was a lot of opposition in the Hindu society towards this step of Anandibai, they did not want anyone from their country to go abroad and study. Some Christian societies supported it but they desired to convert her religion.
Seeing the protest in the Hindu society about her decision, Anandibai presented her side to the other people at Srirampur College. She kept the goal of going to America and getting a medical degree openly among the people and explained to the people about the need for a female doctor.
In her address, she also told in front of people that she and her family will never accept Christianity in future and will come back and try to open a medical college for women in India too. People were impressed by this effort and people from all over the country started supporting them, and money support also started coming for her.
America Jounery of Dr. Anandibai
After cooperating in India, Anandibai started her journey in America and she travelled by ship from India to America. Thus she reached America in June 1883 and Theodicia Carpenter, the person who promised her help, took it herself.
Then she applied to the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania for her education, and her wish was accepted by this college. She enrolled in medical college at the age of just 19 and completed her education on 11 March 1886 and earned the degree of MD (Doctor of Medicine). Queen Victoria also congratulated her on her success.
But at the time of her education, due to America’s cold weather and the inability to accept food there, her health continued to deteriorate, and she was hit by tuberculosis (an infectious disease usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacteria). Thus America was suitable for her education but their health left them there.
In 1886, along with Anandibai, two other women from Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania also received this degree. The names of the women that Kei Okami and Sabat Islambooly. These were the women who made the impossible possible and had the distinction of being the first woman to achieve this title of their own country.
Return to India with the degree of MD
After earning her degree, Anandibai returned to India as per her goal. After returning from there, she first served in Kolhapur. Here she handled the women’s department at Albert Edward Hospital. This was the first time for women in India when a woman doctor was available to treat them.
And a century ago, this was a very big thing that Anandibai had done in difficult situations.
Anandibai died on 26 February 1887, just one year after attaining her doctorate. The cause of her death was TB disease, due to which her health continued to fall day by day, and in the end, a doctor lost to the disease.
Death of First woman doctor of India
Her death at the age of just 22 was a huge loss for the country, which was difficult to compensate for. But in her short life, she had shown us what we could not do during our entire life.
At the time where the entire country was mourning her death, and her ashes were sent to New Jersey Theodicia Carpenter, who found a place in the cemetery there.
Anandibai Joshi Achievements and Honours
It is a great thing to do so much at such a young age, but the information of such persons is available to the next generation only when they are given some special honours. The achievements and honours given to Anandibai are as follows.
- The Institute for Research and Documentation in Social Science and an NGO in Lucknow started awarding Anandibai Joshi Award in the field of medicine. It is a great honor for her.
- Apart from this, the Maharashtra government has also started a fellowship program for young women working on women’s health in her name.
- Soon after her death, American writer Caroline Wells Healey Dall wrote a book on her life.
- After this, Marathi writer Dr. Anjali Kirtane did research on the life of Dr. Anandibai Joshi and wrote a Marathi book called “डॉ. आनंदीबाई जोशी काळ आणि कर्तृत्व” (Dr. Anandibai Joshi, Kaal ani Kartutva: Dr. Anandibai Joshi, her times and accomplishments). This book was published by Majestic Publishing Mumbai. Rare photographs of Dr. Anandibai Joshi were included in this book.
- Doordarshan, an Indian public service broadcaster, aired a Hindi series based on the life of Anandibai called “Anandi Gopal” and directed by Kamalakar Sarang.
- Sri Krishna Janardan Joshi has written a fictional article of Anandibai life in his Marathi novel called Anandi Gopal. It was adapted into a play of the same name by Ram G. Joglekar.
- On 31 March 2018, Google honoured Dr. Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi with a Google Doodle to mark her 153rd birth anniversary.
- A crater on Venus is named in her honor. The 34.3 km diameter crater is 5.5 ° N and longitude 288.8 ° E on Venus named ‘Joshee‘.
- A film on her life in Marathi was made in 2019, titled Anandi Gopal.
Some Lesser Known Facts About Anandibai
- She graduated with an MD in March 1886; The topic of her thesis was “Obstetrics among the Aryan Hindoos“. The thesis used references from both Ayurvedic texts and American medical textbooks.
- She addressed a public hall in 1883. She addressed the shortage of women doctors in India and said: “I treat myself as one.“
- In that struggle of Anandibai, Lokmanya Tilak wrote a letter to him, along with sending a hundred rupees to help him. He wrote in his letter – ‘I know how many difficulties you have faced to get education abroad. You are one of the great modern women of our country. I have come to know that you are in dire need of money. I am an editor in a newspaper. My income is not much. Nevertheless, I wish to give you a hundred rupees.’
- She was the first woman doctor and the first woman who went abroad.
- Perhaps she was the first woman in the world to get a doctor’s degree at such a young age.
- She also mentioned how midwifery was not enough in any case and that there are conservative views of instructors teaching classes.
- Anandibai joined the medical program at the college which was the second women’s medical program in the world.
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Dr Anandibai Joshi is an Indian woman who has faced every difficulty for brightened her future. She not only made her future but also opened many paths for the coming generation and made it easy. This is the result of the hard work of her and other women like these, that today we and other women of India can live their lives freely.
Even today many women are illuminating the name of India through their efforts in many fields. We wish all those women a golden future and wish them all the best for their future.