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Today is Dr Muthulakshmi Reddi's 133rd birth anniversary, who is known to be India's first woman legislator. She devoted her life to public health and fought the battle against gender inequality. On Monday, the Tamil Nadu government announced that all the government hospitals in the state will celebrate her birth anniversary as 'Hospital Day' every year.
A statement issued by the health ministry said nurses, doctors and other government hospital employees and primary health centres would be able to showcase their activities, new initiatives and achievements as a part of the celebration.
Who Is Dr Muthulakshmi Reddi?
Dr Muthulakshmi Reddi was born on 30 July 1886 in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu. She was the first Indian girl student in the Department of Surgery at Madras Medical College. She also went on to become one of the first women doctors in India in 1912, and the first woman house surgeon in the Government Maternity Hospital, Madras.
Reddi co-founded the Women's Indian Association in 1918, and as the first woman member of the Madras Legislative Council. She was praised for her work for increasing the minimum age for marriage for girls and pushed the Council to pass the Immoral Traffic Control Act, and the Devadasi System Abolishment Bill.
She even resigned from the Madras Legislative Council to support the Salt Satyagraha. In the year 1954, Muthulakshmi Reddi opened the Cancer Institute in Chennai. After losing her sister to cancer, she launched the Adayar Cancer Institute in 1954.
Dr Muthulakshmi Reddi passed away in 1968 at the age of 81.