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Dublin to Travancore: How Kerala’s First Woman Graduate Blazed a Trail for Indian Doctors

Dr Mary Poonen Lukose was a trailblazer in every sense of the word.

She was the first female Malayali graduate, headed the Health Department in the Princely State of Travancore (which made her the de-facto Health Minister), served as India’s first woman legislator when she was nominated to the state legislative council and eventually became the first woman Surgeon General of Travancore; and was in fact, the first woman to be appointed Surgeon General anywhere in the world.

Awarded the title of Vaidyasasthrakusala from the last Maharaja of Travancore Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, she was also presented with the Padma Shri in 1975.

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