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Anandi was born as Yamuna in Maharashtra's Thane district in 1865.

The 17-year old Anandi forcefully defended her plans to travel to the USA for a medical degree; how she and her husband had been subject to discrimination because of her moves, why the country needed Hindu female doctors and her future dream of opening a medical college for women in India itself. She was married at the very small age of just nine years to a widower, Gopalrao Joshi who was 20 years senior to her, who renamed her as Anandi.

In 1880 he sent a letter to Royal Wilder, a well-known American missionary stating Anandibai's interest in studying medicine in the United States and inquiring about a suitable post in the USA for himself.

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Anandi returned to India in 1886. He taught her to read and write Marathi, English, and Sanskrit.

Meanwhile, her husband who was thrice her age encouraged her to take up education.

Gopalrao encouraged Anandibai to study medicine and in 1880, she moved to the U.S. to pursue higher studies at the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania, where her husband found an appropriate post for himself as well. Yes, we are talking about Anandi Gopal Joshi, India's first lady to qualify as a doctor from the United States of America in 1886.

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Despite battling illness and persecution from orthodox Indians back home, she graduated from medical college in 1885.

By 1886, Anandibai obtained her MD degree though her health had started failing by the time.

While in America, she had contracted tuberculosis because of the cold weather and unfamiliar diet. Her ashes were sent to her hostess Carpenter to be kept in her family cemetery in Poughkeepsie, New York. She told her husband that she was determined to become a doctor - a physician.

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Joshi's young life was tragically cut short when she died of tuberculosis before she turned 22. Her journey had been so inspiring that she got much publicity in the Indian press, and on her graduation, the then Queen of England, Empress of India, Queen Victoria sent her a congratulatory message. Her death was mourned throughout India.


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