Google’s tribute to India’s first practicing female doctor

Rukhmabai Raut became the first practising female doctor in colonial India, while Anandibai Joshi was the first Indian female doctor, because she could not actually practice owing to her early and untimely death. Today, Google doodle honoured Raut on her 153rd birth anniversary

Dr--Rakhmabai-Raut

Born on this day in 1864, Rukhmabai Raut, was one of the first women doctors to practice medicine in British India. She was not afraid to stand up for everything she believed in.

Google doodle dedicated an illustration to Raut on its homepage in India, showing a woman with a stethoscope around her neck, with two hospital beds, a nurse and a patient in the backdrop.

Rukhmabai Raut was married off at the age of 11, to Dadaji Bhikaji. She continued to live with her mother and educate herself. But, Dadaji did not support Rukhmabai’s wish to study, which led her to take the decision of not remaining married to Dadaji. In 1884, Dadaji filed a petition at the Bombay High Court to restore conjugal rights over his wife. The court, in its judgement, directed Rukhmabai to live with her husband or go to the jail. Rukhmabai, told the Court that she would prefer to go to jail.

With the support of stalwart Dr Edith Pechey, Rukhmabai was able to acquire a degree in medicine. She even provided medical aid to Indian women. In the pseudonym of ‘A Hindu Lady’, she wrote numerous letters in the newspapers.

She worked as the Chief Medical Officer at a state hospital in Rajkot for 35 years. She retired around 1930, and eventually, breathed her last in the year 1955, at the age of 91.