The Three Golden Women Of Medicine In Pre-Independent India

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By: Dr. Samayug Bhowmik, Bureau Chief, ICN-West Bengal          PART-1

KOLKATA: Herein, I will highlight three Indian daughters who became doctors and  made their presence in other fields also.They are Kadambini Ganguly, Anandi Gopal Joshi and Rukhmabai.

Dr.Kadambini Ganguly was the first medical graduate from India and also in the entire British Empire. She was the first South Asian female physician, trained in western medicine, having graduated from India.

Born at Bhagalpur in 18 July, 1861, she was a student of Bethune College under University of Calcutta. She was one of the first women along with another  Chandramukhi Basu who both became the first two female graduates from Bethune College in the country.

Kadambini started her education at Banga Mahila Vidyalaya and while at Bethune School in 1878 became the first woman to pass the University of Calcutta entrance examination.

It was partly in recognition of her efforts that Bethune College first introduced FA (First Arts) and then graduation courses in 1883.Later she studied medicine in Calcutta Medical College.

Opposition from the teaching staff, and other orthodox sections of society could not deter her from reaching her goal. Later she went to the United Kingdom in 1892 and returned to India after qualifying as LRCP (Edinburgh), LRCS (Glasgow), and GFPS (Dublin).

In 1883, she married the Brahmo reformer and leader of women’s emancipation  Dwarkanath Ganguly. She became one of the six female delegates to attend the fifth session of the Indian National Congress in 1889.

She organised the Women’s Conference in Calcutta in 1906 where she presided over a meeting in support of  Satyagraha and inspired Indian labourers’ in Transvaal, South Africa. She formed an association to collect funds with the help of fundraisers to assist the workers.

Dr.Kadambari Ganguly died at the age of 63, at Calcutta on 3rd.October 1923.

To Be Continued…….

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