Anandi Gopalrao Joshi

PC- Internet

Born: 31 March 1865

Field: Medicine

Photo by Chokniti Khongchum on

More about her: Anandi Bai Gopalrao Joshi was one of the rarest Indian women who dedicated her life to studying medicine. She was the first female of Indian origin to study and graduate with a degree in medicine in the United States.

Born into an orthodox Hindu family as Yamuna, she was married off early at the age of just nine years to Gopal Rao Joshi, who was a widower and was about twenty years elder than her. After marriage, her husband renamed her as Anandi. At the age of fourteen, she delivered a baby boy, who lived only for ten days due to unavailability of proper medical care. This setback was like a turning point in her life. This motivated her to study medicine and her husband supported her wholeheartedly. In times, when women were just considered for household work, supporting one’s wife to go for higher education was rare!

In 1880, he sent a letter to Royal Wilder, a well-known American missionary, stating Anandibai’s interest in studying medicine in the United States, and inquiring about a suitable post in the US for himself. Wilder published the correspondence in his Princeton’s Missionary Review. Theodicia Carpenter, a resident of Roselle, New Jersey, happened to read it while waiting to see her dentist. Anandi’s desire to study medicine, and Gopalrao’s support for his wife impressed her, and she wrote to them offering Anandibai accommodation in America. In 1883, despite bad suffering from health conditions, Anandi Gopal Rao Joshi, set out for a long journey on a ship to the distant land of America to pursue education in medical sciences. She faced severe resistance from the orthodox Hindu society at that point in time. She and her husband were also asked to change their religion in to christianity, but the couple faced all odds but did not change any of their decisions.

In New York, Theodicia Carpenter received her in June 1883. Anandi Joshi wrote to the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, asking to be admitted to their medical program, (which was the second women’s medical program in the world). Rachel Bodley, the dean of the college, enrolled her. Anandi Joshi began her medical education at age 19. she graduated with an MD on 11 March 1886; the topic of her thesis was “Obstetrics among the Aryan Hindoos”.On her graduation, Queen Victoria sent her a congratulatory message. But this achievement was not easy for her. She constantly struggled with declining health due to cold weather and foriegn diet. She contracted tuberculosis.

In late 1886, Anandi Joshi returned to India, receiving a hero’s welcome. The princely state of Kolhapur appointed her as the physician-in-charge of the female ward of the local Albert Edward Hospital.

Anandi Joshi died early the next year on 26 February 1887 before turning 22. Her death was mourned throughout India.

My one-line takeaway: The way we look at adversities in our life can actually be a very important deciding factor as to how our future life will pan out.

PS: I have planned to take up non-fiction this year as my theme for A2Z challenge, where every day in the month of April I will be writing about women in the stream of science and their contributions.  This main objective is to draw inspiration and share information about such great lives who did it despite all difficulties in their life.



I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z and hyperlink to

22 Comments Add yours

  1. Very inspiring. Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Sandhya !


  2. Shalini says:

    This is one of the themes I look forward to reading every day this April. I appreciate the research that went into writing this post. Kudos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much , Shalini! So glad that this is being of some help in garnering the motivation that we all need and seek.


  3. Happy to read about a great personality

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by !


  4. Rashi Roy says:

    That’s a fantastic theme you have chosen and I am surely going to get inspired and learn a lot from your posts. Good luck for A-Z

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much , Rashi ! I was very skeptical.


  5. What an inspiring woman. Thanks for letting us know about her. Looking forward to getting inspired all through the month.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much , Manali ! Probably I myself needed a boost hence, I chose this real life stories. So glad you liked them !

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Swarnali Nath says:

    Chinmayee you have selected a wonderful theme for A to Z and what a start of the challenge! I have read about Anandi Bai Joshi before and I really admire her. Looking forward to read more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your words ! Means a lot to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Inspirational! These women have laid the foundation for all of us who are living an emancipated life. So thankful to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comments ! Yes, they are great inspiration.


  8. Sonia Dogra says:

    That one line takeaway Chinmayee is so so true. How we choose to deal with adversities decides how our life pans out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Sonia, for stopping by !


  9. Harshita says:

    Such an inspiring post Chinmayee, India lost a treasure when she died so early. Looking forward to reading more posts on this theme!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. She died so young! Thank you for your encouragement.


  10. Harjeet Kaur says:

    Hats off to such trailblazers and you to be sharing such gems.I could never imagine how much they faced to carve a niche for themselves

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Harjeet. I think this is the least that we can do for them.


  11. Deepti Menon says:

    Chinmayee, what a wonderful theme you have chosen for your challenge! The stories of all these inspiring women will inspire your readers as well. Kudos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Ma’am ! This is also my sole aim to get inspired and share the inspiration.


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