Today’s Doodle, illustrated by Bengaluru, India-based guest artist Oddrija, celebrates the 160th birthday of Indian doctor Kadambini Ganguly—the first woman to be trained as a physician in India. 


On this day in 1861, Kadambini Ganguly (née Bose) was born in Bhagalpur British India, now Bangladesh. Her father, a co-founder of India’s first women’s rights organization, enrolled Ganguly in school during an era when education was uncommon for Indian women. She took the reins on the opportunity, and in 1883, Kadambini Ganguly and her peer Chandramukhi BasuIn became the first women to graduate college in Indian history. 


Soon after graduating, Ganguly married professor and activist Dwarkanath Ganguly, who encouraged her to pursue a degree in medicine. She persisted—despite numerous initial rejections—until she was eventually admitted to the Calcutta Medical College. She graduated in 1886, making history once again as the first woman to become an Indian-educated doctor.  Ganguly had no intention of slowing her groundbreaking momentum. After working and studying in the United Kingdom, she earned three additional doctoral certifications with a specialization in gynecology and returned to India in the 1890s to open her own private practice.


Kadambini Ganguly, one of the first women doctors of India, paved the way for women's liberation at a time when the cultural and social discourse was dominated by men. She pioneered a successful medical practice in India for women along with other such female doctors as Anandibai Joshi.


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The 2020 “Prothoma Kadambini” biographical television series based on Ganguly’s life reinvigorated her legacy by telling her inspirational story to a new generation.


Happy birthday, Kadambini Ganguly!


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