Google, one of the biggest search engines dedicates a Google Doodle to Rukhmabai today on 22nd November 2017 which is her 153rd birthday. The doodle shows Rukhmabai in the center with a stethoscope around her neck and in the background are the hospital beds with female patients and female nurses. Here are some facts that you must know about Rukhmabai.
- Rukhmabai Rauth was an Indian woman who became one of the first practicing women doctors in colonial India. She worked for several years in Surat and Rajkot.
- Rukhmabai was a victim of child marriage. She was only 11 years old when she married Dadaji Bhikaji Raut who was 8 years elder to Rukhmabai. Even after her marriage, Rukhmabai used to stay with her mother and stepfather and studied at home using books from a Free Church Mission library.
- Dadaji filed a petition in the Mumbai Court asking Rukhmabai to live with Dadaji in his house which she refused. The court passed the judgment in favor of Dadaji. In spite of this she chose to complete her studies while staying with her parents. After 7 years of the court case, Rukhmabai wrote to Queen Victoria, who overruled the court and dissolved the marriage.
- The publicity of this case helped influence the passage of the Age of Consent Act, 1891 which outlawed child marriages across the British Empire.
- In 2016, the story of Raut was adapted into a Marathi film titled Rukhmabai Bhimrao Raut, directed by Anant Mahadevan and starring Tannishtha Chatterjee.