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Google Doodle celebrates Dr. Mutulakshmi Reddy, the first female legislator in India

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Today’s Google Doodle celebrated the 133rd anniversary
of the birth of Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy, a surgeon, educator,
legislator and social reformer. Dr. Reddy has devoted her life
to public health and has fought against gender inequality. The
government of Tamil Nadu announced Monday that state public
hospitals will celebrate their birthdays as “Hospital Day” every
year.


Born in 1886 in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu, Dr. Reddy became the
first Indian student at the surgical faculty of the Madras Medical
College. It was only one of her first. She became one of the first
women doctors in India in 1912 and the first woman surgeon in
the state maternity hospital in Madras.


She co-founded the Association of Indian Women in 1918 and,
as the first female member (and vice-president) of the Madras
Legislative Council, making her the first female legislator in India,
she helped raise the minimum age for marriage for girls and pushed
the Council adopt the Law on the Control of the Immoral Movement
and the draft law on the abolition of the devadasi system.


She left the Council to support Sala Satyagraha. When three young
devadas knocked on her door in 1930, she founded the House of
Avwai to shelter and train girls like them.


In 1954, she opened the Cancer Institute in Chennai, and in
1956 Padma Bhushan was awarded. She passed away in
1968 at the age of 81.


Here is Dr. Reddy herself about the role of a woman in an article
published in the Hindu issue of August 15, 1947:


“Indian women play a large role in the modern world with its chaos
and collapse in another war. With their experience of philosophy
and religion, with their apprenticeship under the guidance of Gandhi,
with a strong sense of motherhood, they can and should be
ambassadors of love, peace and unity. The Gandan concept
of non-violence alone can save the world from a cataclysm.
And only women in India can better convey the message to
the world. together in unity and peace. "

Scrawl with Dr. Reddy, director of young girls and women,
was created by guest artist from Bangalore, Archana Srinivasan.
The Doodle page also displays other early concepts drawn by
the artist for the occasion.

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