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Anandi Gopal Joshi, first Indian female physician

Anandi Gopal Joshi was the first woman from India who obtained a degree in medicine in the United States of America.

Anandi Gopal Joshi, first Indian female physician was born on 31 March 1865 in Kalyan City in Maharashtra and died on 26 February 1887 Kalyan. In a male-dominated orthodox society where women struggle to breathe independently, there was a lady named Anandi Gopal Joshi who opened the doors for women for education and to think to move forwards to persued their dreams. She essayed motivation and influence the women to proceed with their moreover studies because it will help them to take their rightful honor and rights.

Anandi Gopal Joshi
Anandi Gopal Joshi, first Indian female physician

Anandi Gopal Joshi, acknowledged by many as India’s originally first woman physician, was one of the pioneer female doctors in India. Anandi’s original name was ‘Yamuna‘ but her husband after marriage changed her name to ‘Anandi‘.


She was born in a family of landlords, Anandi’s family was a landlord family from Kalyan, Maharashtra for several years throughout the British sovereignty in India, but because of unnecessary expenses for lands that were authorized by the British government, as well as excessive taxes, the loss of the own land expanded over the times, due to losing her family experienced a difficult economic time.

When Anandi was just nine years old due to parental pressure, she got married to Gopalrao Joshi. Her husband Gopalrao Joshi, was a widowed man who was nearly 30 years old at the time of their marriage. Gopalrao, who was an open-minded intellectual and promoted learning for women. Since this was deemed exceptional for the past, he was considered a reformist philosopher. 


We can definitely say it was Gopalrao’s support for Anandi’s idea of education and desired her to study medicine and forge her own status in society. Anandi had her first kid a boy at the mere age of 14 years old but in the absence of medical attention, the child died following ten days. Facing such enormous shock and grief at the mere age of fourteen, she chose to do something about medical care in India. 

Gopal Rao and Anandi Gopal Joshi
Gopal Rao and Anandi Gopal Joshi

She said to her husband that she was determined to become a doctor a physician. This occurrence became the cord-wrenching and life-changing period in Anandi’s memoir and she decided to pursue her career in medicine, with the assistance of her husband Gopalrao.

In the era of 1800s, it was very uncomfortable and uncommon for husbands to concentrate on their spouses’ literacy. Gopalrao decided to send his wife Anandi to America to receive her education in medicine with complete information with a teacher from Philadelphia titled Mr. Royal Wilder


Well in the 1800s it was not easy for women in any field to take charges even if its in the house or society. But things for Indian women not drastically but slowly surely changed because just one woman dared to fight all the odds and fight the male orthodox society to breathe openly and proceed with education to gain respect for herself. Anandi went to America by herself to set an instance for all other women in India to continue their greater literacy.

Anandi Gopal Joshi in college
Anandi Gopal Joshi in college

Anandi Gopal Joshi joined the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in America and was permitted to study medicine in college. She sailed from Kolkata to New York by ship. She started her pharmaceutical education at the age of nineteen years old. She finished her two-year studies in medicine at the age of nineteen. She completed her studies with a graduation degree with a medical degree in the year 1886. Her topic of the thesis was moving ‘Obstetrics among the Aryan Hindoos’.


Anandi received a grand welcome in India when she arrived after her study was completed, She was the talk of that time that women Indian women became the first lady of Indian origin to receive a medical degree. Joshi arrived back in India in the year 1886 intending to open a medical college for women. She received a huge welcome and the sovereign state of Kolhapur. Later on, she was designated as physician-in-efficacious of the women’s department of the town Albert Edward Hospital. Her dream of opening a medical college was not fulfilled when she was alive.


India’s first woman doctor Anandi passed away due to tuberculosis on February 26, 1887, at just the age of 21, the whole nation grieved her passing. Even after her passing, numerous authors and academic scholars proceeded to pen about her to promote awareness and information regarding the significance of educating ladies in India. The original and earliest biography of India’s first female physician was composed by feminist of that era Caroline Wells Healey Dall in the year 1888. 

Her hardworking and passionate excursion had been so encouraging that she got considerable public attention in the Indian publishers, and on her graduation from America, the former Queen of England, Queen Victoria gave her a congratulatory letter. Anandi’s effort drew applause from Kesari editor Lokmanya Tilak he stated her as ”one of the greatest women of our modern era”.

Although she departed young, her courage to confront gender stereotypes, prejudice, and traditional cultures burned a path for future generations. Anandi Gopalrao Joshi is a motivation to millions women all around the world who wants to walking into the area of physicians. She forged memoir by creating tremendous walks so the beginning of her career, in a course that demanded exactness and expanded learning.