She was conferred with a Padma Bhushan in 1956 for her meritorious service to the nation.
Google Doodle on July 30 marked the 133rd birth anniversary of Dr Muthulakshmi Reddi, an educator, surgeon, reformer and India’s first woman lawmaker.She was conferred with a Padma Bhushan in 1956 for her meritorious service to the nation.
In the doodle, Google showed her encouraging women and girls to move forward.
Born on July 30, 1886, in the small princely state of Pudukkottai (now in Tamil Nadu), Muthulakshmi was a bright and determinant person. At a young age, Muthulakshmi rebelled against early marriage and took up higher studies.
She became the first girl to get an admission in the prestigious Maharaja College. She received threats from parents of male students after her decision to study in the college. Facing all odds, she graduated with Honours.
Muthulakshmi went on to become the first female student at the Madras Medical College and studied in the Department of Surgery there.
After completing her studies against all odds, Muthulakshmi became a house surgeon in Chennai’s Government Hospital for Women and Children.
During her stint as a medical practitioner, Muthulakshmi started working for the upliftment of women and children.
Working for gender equality, Muthulakshmi got married to Sundara Reddi, a doctor, on the understanding that he will respect her as an equal.
In the years to come, Muthulakshmi associated herself with the Women’s Indian Association (WIA).
She joined the Madras Legislative Council and became India’s first women legislator. There, she worked for gender equality, raising the legal age of marriage for women and her right for choice in the matter of education and career.
Muthulakshmi established a Cancer Institute in Adyar in 1954 after losing her sister to a misdiagnosed case of cancer. Started in a small hut, the institute now treats 15,672 new patients and over 1.4 lakh follow-up cases annually, according to institute’s website.
The Tamil Nadu government on July 29 announced ‘Hospital Day’ celebrations to be held every year on July 30, to mark Muthulakshmi’s birth anniversary.
A statement issued by the Health Ministry said doctors, nurses and other employees of government hospitals and primary health centres would be able to showcase their activities, new initiatives and achievements as part of the celebrations. “Funds have been allocated to every hospital,” it said.
(With inputs from PTI)