Google Doodle on 22 November 2017 honoured Rukhmabai Raut, the first Indian woman to practice medicine in colonial India, on her 153rd birth anniversary.
The Doodle, designed by illustrator Shreya Gupta, shows Rukhmabai among her patients, doing the dedicated work of a skilled physician.
Rukhmabai was also known for asserting her right to consent in marriage at a time when rights for women were rarely given any kind of importance.
About Rukhmabai Raut
• Born on 22 November 1864 in Bombay, Rukhmabai was the only daughter of Janardhan Pandurang and Jayantibai.
• 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.
• Rukhmabai legally separated from her husband in 1888 and moved to England to study medicine.
• She returned to India in 1894 and practised in Surat, Rajkot and Bombay for 35 years.
• She passed away on 25 September 1955.
Who: Google Doodle
When: 22 November 2017