Kadambini Ganguly – The first Female Graduate and social reformer of India
Name: Kadambini Ganguly
Other Name: Kadambini Bose
Born: July 18, 1861
Died: October 3, 1923
Born / Home Town: Bhagalpur
Profession: Physician/Social Reformer
Father: Braja Kishore Basu
Spouse: Dwarkanath Ganguly
Kadambini Ganguly, also known as Kadambini Bose was one of the first female graduates of the British Empire. She was also one of the first female physicians of South Asia to be trained in western medicine. She was the daughter of Brahmo reformer Braja Kishore Basu and wife of Dwarkanath Ganguly, a Brahmo reformer. She was one of the founding members of Bhagalpur Mahila Samiti in 1863, one of the first women organizations in India. Abhay Charan Mallick was its co-founder.
She was born as Kadambini Bose to Brahmo reformer Braja Kishore Basu on 18 July 1861 at Bhagalpur, Bihar in British India. Her ancestral roots belong to Barisal of present day Bangladesh. Her father was headmaster of Bhagalpur School. Her primary education was done at Banga Mahila Vidyalaya. In 1878 she became the first woman to pass the University of Calcutta entrance examination. She started movement for women’s emancipation at Bhagalpur, alongside Abhay Charan Mallick and it resulted in the formation of women organization, Bhagalpur Mahila Samiti in 1863. Through her efforts, Bethune College first introduced First Arts and then graduation courses in 1883. Thus she and Chandramukhi Basu became the first graduates from Bethune College. These two ladies are the first female graduates in the country.
Later she studied medicine at the Kolkata Medical College. In 1886, she received Graduate of Bengal Medical College degree. She along with Anandi Gopal Joshi became the first Indian woman to get qualified to practise western medicine. Abala Bose passed entrance in 1881 but was refused admission to the medical college at Kolkata. She went to Chennai to study medicine, but never completed. In 1883, she married Dwarkanath Ganguly, a social reformer. It was his second marriage. She was one of the six female delegates to the fifth session of the Indian National Congress in 1889.