Muthulakshmi Reddy

Muthulakshmi Reddy

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Muthulakshmi Reddy Profile

  • Name:
  • Muthulakshmi Reddy
  • Spouse:
  • Sundara Reddy

Muthulakshmi Reddy Biography

Muthulakshmi Reddy was an Indian medical practitioner and a social reformer from Pudukottai, Madras Presidency. She broke the barriers of education, medicine and law, which was once a stigma and taboo to Indian girls, who were a part of conservative society. She is also the driving force behind one of the biggest cancer institutes in India -  Adyar Cancer Institute of Chennai started in year 1954. Government of India honoured her with Padma Bhushan for her contributions towards the field of education and medicine. Reddy is a true inspiration to many generations of girls to follow.


Muthulakshmi Reddy was born on 30 July 1886 in Chennai. Her father S. Narayanaswami Iyer served as the Principal of Maharaja's College. Her mother was a devadasi. Her father was expelled from the family because of his marriage with a devadasi. After puberty, Muthulakshmi was given lessons at home. Though her mother wanted to get her married when she turned 18, she wanted to continue her studies. Her admission to Maharaja's College was initially rejected because of her gender. Maharaja of Pudukottai ignored rejections from different sources and admitted her in college. Later she joined Madras Medical College, and completed graduation in 1912, thus creating history. Two years later at the age of 28, she got married.


Muthulakshmi Reddy was the first female student to be admitted into a men's college, the first woman House Surgeon in the Government Maternity and Ophthalmic Hospital, the first woman Legislator in British India, the first Chairperson of the State Social Welfare Advisory Board. She was also the first woman Deputy President of the Legislative Council, and the first Alderwoman of the Madras Corporation Avvai Home. Really a true and very rare inspiration!


Published: January 05, 2020

Updated: January 05, 2020

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