Rukhmabai Raut was born on 22 November,1864 was one of the first female practicing women doctor. This year marks the 153rd birthday of Rukhmabai Raut (or Rakhmabai) who became one of the first practicing women doctors in colonial India.
Her journey hasn’t been easy though as at the young age of 11, she was forcefully married to a 19-year-old named Dadaji Bhikaji. However, even after the marriage, she chose to live with her mother who was a widow.
Her forceful marriage incident led to a famous court case in 1885 and thus the Age of Consent Act was passed in 1891. Besides that two more evil practices like child marriage and enforced widowhood also came into limelight and were eventually abolished from the society. Finally, after getting freed from court cases, she decided to pursue further education and become a doctor. A long-drawn out court battle ensued between Rukhmabai and her husband's family and it is labelled the first divorce case in India. A doctor named Edith PecheyPhipson supported her and she first studied the English language in India and then relocated to London and studied at the London School of Medicine for Women. She finally obtained her degree in 1894 and returned back to India. After completion of her studies, she came back and was appointed as Chief Medical Officer in the city of Surat. She also practiced in Rajkot as well. During her professional career of a practicing doctor of 35 years, she also penned down various books on women’s seclusion and child marriage. She vowed to never marry again and throughout her life remained highly active in social activities and made a lot of reforms.
A Google Doodle marked Rukhmabai's 153rd birthday this year and it depicts a sombre-faced young woman, in a simple printed cotton sari, hair parted and pulled back into a bun, while a stethoscope dangles around her neck. In the backdrop, you see a hospital set-up where nurses meet with and treat patients.
India’s First Female Physicians: Kadambini Ganguly, one of the first women graduates from India and the entire British Empire who moved on to become one of the first female physicians trained in western medicine in the whole of South Asia.Her childhood was strongly influenced by the Bengal Renaissance and her father, Braja Kishore Basu, was a renowned champion of the Brahmo Samaj. As a headmaster, he was dedicated to female emancipation and co-founded Bhagalpur Mahila Samiti in 1863, the first of its kind women’s organisation in India.A young Kadambini completed her formal education from Banga Mahila Vidyalaya, later merged with the Bethune School. She was the first candidate from the Bethune School to appear for the University of Calcutta entrance exam and created history becoming the first woman to pass the test as early as 1878.Her success encouraged Bethune College to introduce FA (First Arts) and Graduation courses in 1883. Kadambini was one of the first two graduates, along with Chandramukhi Basu, in the entire British Raj.