Kadambini Ganguly :
Kadambini Ganguly (Bengali: কাদম্বিনী গাঙ্গুলি; 18 July 1861 – 3 October 1923) was one of the first Indian female doctors who practiced with a degree in Western medicine, alongside other pioneering women such as Anandibai Joshi. Ganguly was the first woman to gain admission to Calcutta Medical College in 1884, subsequently trained in Scotland, and established a successful medical practice in India
The daughter of Brahmo reformer Braja Kishore Basu, she was born on 18 July 1861 at Bhagalpur, Bihar in British India. The family was from Chandsi, in Barisal which is now in Bangladesh. Her father was headmaster of Bhagalpur School. He and Abhay Charan Mallick started the movement for women’s emancipation at Bhagalpur, establishing the women’s organisation Bhagalpur Mahila Samiti in 1863, the first in India.
Despite coming from an upper caste Bengali community that did not support women’s education, Kadambini started her education at Banga Mahila Vidyalaya and while at Bethune School (established by Bethune) in 1878 became the first woman to pass the University of Calcutta entrance examination. It was partly in recognition of her efforts that Bethune College first introduced FA (First Arts), and then graduation courses in 1883. She and Chandramukhi Basu became the first graduates from Bethune College, and in the process became the first female graduates in the country and in the entire British Empire
Google Celebrates Kadambini Ganguly’s 160th birthday with Doodle
Today’s Doodle, illustrated by Bengaluru, India-based guest artist Oddrija, celebrates the 160th birthday of Indian doctor Kadambini Ganguly—the first woman to be trained as a physician in India.
On this day in 1861, Kadambini Ganguly (née Bose) was born in Bhagalpur British India, now Bangladesh. Her father, a co-founder of India’s first women’s rights organization, enrolled Ganguly in school during an era when education was uncommon for Indian women. She took the reins on the opportunity, and in 1883, Kadambini Ganguly and her peer Chandramukhi BasuIn became the first women to graduate college in Indian history.
Soon after graduating, Ganguly married professor and activist Dwarkanath Ganguly, who encouraged her to pursue a degree in medicine. She persisted—despite numerous initial rejections—until she was eventually admitted to the Calcutta Medical College. She graduated in 1886, making history once again as the first woman to become an Indian-educated doctor. Ganguly had no intention of slowing her groundbreaking momentum. After working and studying in the United Kingdom, she earned three additional doctoral certifications with a specialization in gynecology and returned to India in the 1890s to open her own private practice.
Ganguly sought to uplift other women in India through both medical service and activism in India’s women’s rights movement. Among many other campaigns, Ganguly joined six others to form the first all-women delegation of the 1889 Indian National Congress.
The 2020 “Prothoma Kadambini” biographical television series based on Ganguly’s life reinvigorated her legacy by telling her inspirational story to a new generation.
Happy birthday, Kadambini Ganguly!