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Letter from Shevantibai M. NiRambe to Dr. R. Bodley

Letter from Shevantibai M. NiRambe to Dean of Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, Dr. Rachel Bodley. Writing from India, NiRambe expresses her desire to study medicine in England or the U.S., and mentions that she had read Bodley's introduction for Pandita Ramabai's book The High Caste Hindu Woman (1888).

Early Women Students

Date: October 14, 1887
Type: Correspondence
Language: English
Creator: Shevantibai M. NiRambe
Location: Bombay, India

Rec'd Nov 14, 1887
Bombay India
October 14th 1887

Dr. R. Bodley
Dean of Women's Medical College


You will kindly excuse me for my boldness in writing to you, but I have received a copy of Pandita Ramabai's book in English on the High Caste Woman and the introduction in it by you lets me have a good view of your interest in India and her women. And to all such interest taking people I cannot refrain from writing. It has been my earnest desire as the Pandita will tell you, to study Medicine, not so much for myself as for my countrywomen.

I am at present engaged in educational work amongst the females of high caste here and from their slow progress I see that there will be a time yet for a Hindu lady doctor to come out from among them, and many have expressed their desire to me about the necessity of a Native lady Doctor.

It is my desire to give myself up to this noble calling and try my best to study Medicine in England or America. There are opportunities and arrangements for me here in my own country but the course is very very long. It takes full five years to pass the L.M.&S. (Licentiate of Medicine & Surgery) examination and an extra period for M.D. I have already passed my Entrance Examination in the University of Bombay so I am ready to join a College.

If you will kindly let me have the list of the studies carried on in the American Colleges as well as the period for prosecuting them. I shall be oh so much obliged.

I hear from Pandita Ramabai, so if you will kindly send word through her it will save much trouble. Or else you may let me know from the College authorities. Please excuse my troubling you.

I am 22 years old and should like to study Medicine where the course is shorter. I should however be very glad of your opinion on the subject. Let me conclude this by asking you again to excuse me for the trouble.

I remain,
Your humble,
Shevantibai M. NiRambe

Holding Institution: Legacy Center Archives, Drexel University College of Medicine
Collection: Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania Collection
Item History: 2012-07-20 (created); 2023-02-21 (modified)

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