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Google Doodle celebrates today the 133rd birth anniversary of Dr Muthulakshmi Reddi with a special art illustration. She was a surgeon, lawmaker, educator, women activist and social reformer who fought against gender inequality and public health.
The Google Doodle showing Dr Muthulakshmi Reddi was created by Bangalore-based artist Archana Sreenivasan.
Her Life And Work
Dr Muthulakshmi Reddi was born in Pudukottai (Tamil Nadu) in the year 1886. She joined the Madras medical college in the year 1907 and completed it with a brilliant academic record. After her graduation in 1912, she became one of India's first women doctors and the first woman surgeon in the state of Madras.
In 1918, she became the first woman legislator of India who helped in raising the marriage age for girls and abolishing the Devadasi system in India, a practice in which young girls are married to a deity or a temple before she attains puberty. This practice used to be a way to involve young girls in prostitution.
Muthulakshmi went to England to pursue her higher education in medical science but later absconded it to join Madras Legislative council where she was elected as a deputy president. She helped orphans with free boarding and lodging, established a special hospital for children and women, and passed the bill to take actions against immoral trafficking of women and children.
Muthulakshmi's efforts provided a home for women and girls who were rescued from brothels and also made the government raise girls' marriage age to 16 and boys to 21.
Being a medical practitioner, Muthulakshmi launched a Cancer Relief fund in the year 1954 in Chennai which has now become famous all over India. She travelled all over the country and raised awareness for women education, women health, and other essential needs related to women. Moreover, she was a feminist even before the term was coined and fought for her cause until her last breath.