Google Doodle celebrates India's first female lawyer Cornelia Sorabjee's 151st birth anniversary

16 November, 2017, 02:29 | Author: Kim Reid
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On her 151st Birth Anniversary, Google Doodle honoured her.

Besides being the first woman Indian lawyer, she had lot more "firsts" to her credit: the first woman to practice law in India and also in Britain, the first woman to go to Bombay University and the first Indian to study in Oxford University and the first woman to be allowed to study law at that university. In 1892, she was given special permission by Congregational Decree, due in large part to the petitions of her English friends, to take the Bachelor of Civil Laws exam at Somerville College, Oxford, thereby becoming the first woman to ever do so.

Sorabji was born in Nasik on November 15 in the year 1866 to Reverend Sorabji Karsedji and Francina Ford.

She went to Deccan College, where she topped her final degree examination in 1887.

Sorabji was the first woman permitted to attend Bombay University, where she excelled. In her own way, Sorabji ended up empowering these women.

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Though she entered the pleas, she was not allowed to defend them in court as the law then prohibited women from practising.

Google's doodle was created by Jasjyot Singh Hans and depicts Ms Sorabji in front of the high court to which she was eventually admitted.

Law - a profession that is dominated by men, women have gone ahead and broken that glass ceiling and taken things head on. Initially, she spent her childhood in Belgaum and then moved to Pune.

Both her parents wanted to change the face of women's education in the country.

Mumbai Live remembers and pays tribute to such a legend for her struggle and efforts. These women, who were child brides and widows could not protect their property even after being entitled to it because they could not appoint any lawyer for themselves as all of them were men. In 1904, she was appointed Lady Assistant to the Court of Wards of Bengal. Reports suggest that in those years of service, she helped over 600 women and orphans with legal battles.

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She also wrote short stories, articles and her autobiography "Between the Twilights".

Google Doodle is known for keeping a track of the anniversaries and landmark events in history.

After a trailblazing career, Sorabji finally retired as a High Court lawyer in 1929 and settled in London - visiting India only during winters - where she passed away on July 6, 1954.

It was created to mark her "persistence in the face of great adversity", Google said.

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