Rukhmabai was an Indian woman who became one of the first practicing women doctors in colonial India.
She was also at the heart of a landmark legal case which led to the enactment of the Age of Consent Act, 1891.
The Search Engine Google is showing Doodle in India for Rukhmabai Raut’s 153rd Birthday.
Dr. Edith Pechey at the Cama Hospital encouraged Rukhmabai, helping to raise funds for her education.
Rukhmabai went to England in 1889 to study at the London School of Medicine for Women.
Rukhmabai was supported by suffrage activist Eva McLaren and Walter McLaren, and the Countess of Dufferin’s Fund for Supplying Medical Aid to the Women of India. Adelaide Manning and several others helped establish a fund, the Rukhmabai Defence Committee.
Rukhmabai then went to Edinburgh for her final examination and returned to India in 1894 to join a hospital in Surat.
In 1904, Bhikaji died and Rukhmabai wore the white sari of widows in the Hindu tradition. In 1918 Rukhmabai rejected an offer to join the Women’s Medical Service and joined a state hospital for women in Rajkot. She served as chief medical officer for a total of thirty-five years before retiring to Bombay in 1929 or 1930.
Rukhmabai wrote numerous letters in the newspapers under the pseudonym A Hindu Lady, winning the support of many and when she expressed a wish to study medicine, a fund was created to support her travel and study in England at the London School of Medicine. She subsequently went to England and returned to India as a qualified physician and worked for many years in a women’s hospital in Rajkot.
She continued her work for reform, publishing a pamphlet “Purdah-the need for its abolition.”
The story of Rukhmabai has been incorporated into novels and films.