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Kadambini Ganguly: First Indian female doctors who practised in modern medicine

Kadambini Ganguly: First Indian female doctors who practised in modern medicine

Kadambini Ganguly (Bengali: কাদম্বিনী গাঙ্গুলি; 18 July 1861 – 3 October 1923) was one among the primary Indian female doctors who practised with a degree in modern medicine, alongside other pioneering women such as Anandibai Joshi. Ganguly was the first woman to gain admission to Calcutta Medical College in 1884, subsequently trained in Scotland and established a successful medical practice in India.


Ganguly was born Kadambini Basu daughter of Brahmo reformer Braja Kishore Basu, she was born on 18 July 1861 at Bhagalpur, Bihar in British India. The family was from Chandsi, in Barisal which is now in Bangladesh. Her father was headmaster of Bhagalpur School. He and Abhay Charan Mallick started the movement for women’s emancipation at Bhagalpur, establishing the women’s organisation Bhagalpur Mahila Samiti in 1863, the first in India.


Despite coming from an upper caste Bengali community that didn’t support women’s education,Kadambini started her education at Banga Mahila Vidyalaya and while at Bethune School (established by Bethune) in 1878 became the primary woman to pass the University of Calcutta entrance exam .

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It was partly in recognition of her efforts that Bethune College first introduced FA (First Arts), then graduation courses in 1883. She and Chandramukhi Basu became the first graduates from Bethune College, and also the first female graduates within the country.

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