Google Doodle today marks the 133rd birthday of Muthulakshmi Reddi, the first female legislator in the history of British India. She was born on this day in 1886 in Pudukkottai in Madras. The doodle illustrated by Bangalore-based guest artist Archana Sreenivasan celebrates the reformer. Reddi was an Indian educator, lawmaker, surgeon and reformer. She broke down barriers and devoted her life to public health. She was also the leading voice in the battle against gender inequality.
Google Doodle celebrates 133rd birthday of Muthulakshmi Reddi
In her illustrious career, she was admitted to several prestigious Indian institutions. She also became the first woman to work as a surgeon in a government hospital, after earning a degree from Madras Medical College. As a young girl, she resisted her parents’ plan for an early arranged marriage. She attended Maharaja College, formerly an all-boys school, after passing all exams. She won a scholarship and graduated with honors. Reddi then went on to become the first female student at Madras Medical College.
After graduating from Madras Medical College, she gave up her medical practice to join the Madras Legislative Council. She worked there to raise the legal age of marriage and combated exploitation of girls. She married a doctor named Sundara Reddi in 1914, on the understanding that he would treat her as an equal. Muthulakshmi Reddi later supported Gandhi’s efforts for Indian Independence while continuing to work for the upliftment of women and battling gender inequality.
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She launched the Adayar Cancer Institute in 1954 after losing a sister to cancer. It remains one of the most respected oncology centers in the world. Adayar Cancer Institute treats some 80,000 patents each year. Reddi was awarded the Padma Bhushan for her service to the country in 1956. The doodle, which has a strong reach in India, celebrates an icon, who stood for gender equality and transformed the society.