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Story of the first female doctor in India – Anandi Joshi


Medical science has upgraded, to such an extent today, that even diseases like cancer, have a cure. But, back in the mid-nineteenth century, the medical facilities were not good, in the country. 

This story is about a young girl, Aanandee Gopala Joshee, from Bombay Presidency, who went on to become the first female doctor, from India. Her courage, dedication and determination, earned her this title today. Let us introduce ourselves, to one of the female pride, of India.

Anandi, belonged from a wealthy background, but due to British impositions, the family lost all fortunes. When she was, only 9 years old, she was married to, Gopal Rao Joshee. He was known, for his progressive thinking, and he encouraged Aanandee, to study post marriage.

Anandi, became a mother when she was 14, but her baby couldn’t survive. She was distressed, but understood, the root cause of the problem. She realised,  two major problems, one being poor medical facilities, in the country, at that point of time, and second being a pregnant woman were unable to, express their concerns, to the male doctors.  

This led to the Eureka Moment, and she took the decision, to become a doctor. Her wish was supported by her husband. They both became an outcast, in their society and faced many odds, but her determination and her husband support took Aanandee, to Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, USA, for medical studies. Post studies, she came back, and took a  job as a physician-in-charge, at the Albert Edward Hospital, in Kolhapur. 

She was congratulated, by Queen Victoria, for her achievement. An Institute for Research and Documentation in Social Sciences curated an award, called Anandee bye Joshee Award. There are three craters, in Venus, that are named, after Indian women personalities, one of them is The Joshee Crater. 

 Anandi Joshi – The Tigress of Indian Medicine.