Kamala Sohonie

Kamala Sohonie

News: The Google Doodle on Sunday (June 18) honoured scientist Kamala Sohonie on her 112th birth anniversary.
Note – Use such examples in your mains answers involving women empowerment.

Who was Kamala Sohonie?
 She was the first Indian woman to get a PhD degree in a scientific discipline and went on to win the Rashtrapati Award for her work on Neera, a palm extract that could fight malnutrition among children from tribal communities in India.

What obstacles did she face?
 While applying for her MSc degree at IISc (headed by CV Raman), her application was dismissed by Raman stating that he wasn’t ready to accept any girl in his institute.
 Later, Kamala challenged Raman that she would complete the course with distinction, and finally, he allowed her in, imposing several conditions.
 Sohonie completed her course with distinction and secured admission to Cambridge University, England, in 1936. “This incident forced Raman to change his opinion about women and from that year he admitted a few students every year,” Sohonie narrated.

What did she work upon at Cambridge and thereafter?
 At Cambridge, Sohonie finished her PhD in merely 14 months, and her thesis was just 40 pages. She worked on potatoes there and discovered the enzyme ‘Cytochrome C’.
 In India she worked on several things before working on ‘neera’, a drink made from palm extract on the suggestion of the First Indian President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
 She popularized the drink and introduced it in the diet of tribal malnourished children and pregnant women which helped improve their health significantly.
Source – The Indian Express 

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