Indian Women have been pioneers in Science & Technology, since the start of recorded history. We at Aparnaa World School salute all the women who have dedicated their lives to science & technology.
Edavaleth Kakkat Janaki Ammal (1897-1984)
Janaki Ammal was born in the year 1897, in Tellichery, Kerala, in a cultured middle-class family. Her father was a sub-judge in what was then the Madras Presidency. She had six brothers and five sisters. After schooling in Tellichery, she moved to Madras where she obtained the bachelor’s degree from Queen Mary’s College, and an honours degree in Botany from Presidency College in 1921.
She lived up to her own definition of greatness which combined virtue in life and passion in the pursuit of her science. There is thus much for us to emulate in her life and work.
B Vijayalakshmi (1952-1985)
Born into a conservative family, she obtained her Masters from Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College, Tiruchirapalli in 1974 and joined the Department of Theoretical Physics. In 1982, she completed a Ph.D from Madras University, and soon met and married T. Jayaram.
B. Vijayalakshmi’s studies explored the topics of relativistic equations of higher spin in external electromagnetic and gravitational fields, looking for ways higher spin theories could be constructed. Soon after she worked on spinning particle in non-relativistic quantum mechanics. It was around 1978 when the Association of Research Scholars of the Madras University was formed and was contributed to by B. Vijayalakshmi. In 1980 she gave talks at the biannual High Energy Physics Symposium of the Department of Atomic Energy held at the University in Kochi. She was treated with high regard after this and respect for her studies. Although her health deteriorated due to cancer she published five publications on the relativistic wave equations in external fields and completed her requirements for Ph.D., describing large classes of relativistic equations previously unknown to the scientific community. As supersymmetry became more popular her work shifted and she wrote two papers on the topic. For more than two more years B. was studying relativistic equations from different angles.
B. Vijayalakshmi died on 12 May 1985.
Sashi Kumar created a documentary about her life called “Vijayalakshmi: The Story of a Young Woman with Cancer”.
Anandibai Joshi (1865-1887)
Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi (31 March 1865 – 26 February 1887) was the first Indian female practitioner of western medicine, alongside Kadambini Ganguly. She was the first woman from the erstwhile Bombay presidency of India to study and graduate with a two-year degree in western medicine in the United States.
Originally named Yamuna, Joshi was born, raised and married in Kalyan where her family had previously been landlords before experiencing financial losses. As was the practice at that time and due to pressure from her mother, she was married at the age of nine to Gopalrao Joshi, a widower almost twenty years her senior. After marriage, Yamuna’s husband renamed her ‘Anandi’. Gopalrao Joshi worked as a postal clerk in Kalyan. Later, he was transferred to Alibag, and then, finally, to Kolkata (Calcutta). He was a progressive thinker, and, unusually for that time, supported education for women.
At the age of fourteen, Anandibai gave birth to a boy, but the child lived only for a total of ten days due to lack of medical care. This proved to be a turning point in Anandi’s life and inspired her to become a physician. After Gopalrao tried to enroll her in missionary schools and not working out, they moved to Calcutta. There she learned to read and speak Sanskrit and English.
The Institute for Research and Documentation in Social Sciences (IRDS), a non-governmental organization from Lucknow, has been awarding the Anandibai Joshi Award for Medicine in honour of her early contributions to the cause of advancing medical science in India. In addition, the Government of Maharashtra has established a fellowship in her name for young women working on women’s health. A crater on Venus has been named in her honour. The 34.3 km-diameter crater on Venus named ‘Joshee’ lies at latitude 5.5° N and longitude 288.8° E.
On 31 March 2018, Google honored her with a Google Doodle to mark her 153rd birth anniversary.
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