Google celebrated the 153rd birth anniversary of Anandi Gopal Joshi, India’s first female doctor, on Saturday. Joshi was born on this day in Maharashtra in 1865. In the doodle, she is seen holding a degree and wearing a stethoscope around her neck. This comes around five months after the Google Doodle team honoured Rukhmabai Raut, hailed as one of the first female practising doctors in British India.
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’s life story — as short as it was — was one of courage and perseverance. Born as Yamuna in Maharashtra, she was married at the age of nine to a widower, Gopalrao Joshi, 20 years her senior, who named her Anandi. A progressive thinker, Gopalrao encouraged his young wife to study.
At the age of 14, Anandi Joshi gave birth to a boy, but he soon died because of lack of proper medical care. This was said to have been a turning point for the grieving mother, who developed an interest in medicine. Gopalrao encouraged her to pursue this study, and even sent her to America at 16. She earned her degree at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (now known as Drexel University College of Medicine) and returned to India with dreams of opening a medical college for women.
Unfortunately, young Joshi did not keep too well, and she died just short of 22 years due to tuberculosis on February 26, 1887. Though Joshi could not execute her dream of opening a medical college for women, she did inspire subsequent generations of girls to fight for and follow their dreams.
Interestingly, there’s a crater on Venus named after her.
Read | Who is Anandi Gopal Joshi?
According to the Google Doodle brief, her tribute doodle has been designed by Bengaluru-based artist Kashmira Sarode, who has imagined Joshi celebrating her degree. Here’s a look at the design concept in-the-making:
Here are some old photos of Anandibai Joshi, as she has been popularly known.
Interestingly, though the doodle’s reach has been marked way beyond just India — it includes Canada, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Iceland, the UK, Croatia, Serbia, Greece, Australia and New Zealand — the United States is conspicuously missing, since that was where she earned her degree.