Rukhmabai Raut

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  • Google Doodle honoured Rukhmabai Raut, the first Indian woman to practice medicine in colonial India, on her 153rd birth anniversary.

About Rukhmabai Raut:

  • Rukhmabai was born in Bombay in 1864, to a woman who had herself suffered because of the custom of child marriage.
  • She was also a victim of child marriage. She was married off at the age of 11 to Dadaji Bhikaji, however she continued to stay with her mother.
  • She refused to move in with her husband stating that a woman cannot be compelled to stay in a wedlock when she is not interested.
  • This Dadaji vs Rukhmabai case triggered a debate in both England and India. The verdict went in favour of Dadaji and the court ordered Rukhmabai to live with her husband or face six months imprisonment. Rukhmabai chose imprisonment over Dadaji.
  • This verdict was overruled by Queen Victoria which prompted the government to bring in the Age of Consent Act, 1891.
  • She wrote numerous letters in the newspapers under the pseudonym ‘A Hindu Lady’, winning the support of many and when she expressed a wish to study medicine, a fund was created to support her travel and study in England at the London School of Medicine in 1889.
  • She continued her work for reform, publishing a pamphlet ‘Purdah-the need for its abolition’.

Source:TH & Wiki