First Female Desi Student in the U.S ?

AnandiJoshi_20130125Before a packed house in Bengal’s Serampore College, with an audience that included the American Consul General, Joshi in 1883 declared her intention: “I go to America because I wish to study medicine,“ she said, speaking in English before the College Hall. “Ladies both European and Native are naturally averse to expose themselves in cases of emergency to treatment by doctors of the other sex. In my humble opinion there is a growing need for Hindu lady doctors in India, and I volunteer to qualify myself for one.”

She was 18 years old and her decision came at a high cost. The townsfolk disapproved of an upper-caste Brahmin woman crossing the forbidden “black waters” and created scenes at the post office where her husband Gopal Rao Joshi worked. Progressive beyond his time, Gopal had encouraged his wife’s ambition to become a physician when their infant son died years earlier for lack of medical attention.

Read the rest of the story here. html.

A related article: Dressing the Part