Google, the renowned search engine giant, recently paid tribute to the remarkable biochemist Dr Kamala Sohonie on her 112th birth anniversary. Given the persistent underrepresentation of Indian women in scientific fields, Dr. Sohonie retains the distinction of being the first Indian woman to get a PhD in biochemistry.
Through a vibrant doodle, Google celebrated her groundbreaking contributions and legacy in the field. Let’s delve into the inspiring life and career of Dr Kamala Sohonie, who defied gender bias to pursue her passion.
Early Life and Education
Born in Indore, Madhya Pradesh in 1911, Dr Kamala Sohonie hailed from a family of respected chemists, as documented in her family’s historical records. Inspired by her father and uncle, both accomplished chemists, she aspired to follow in their footsteps.
In 1933, she completed her graduation in chemistry and physics from Bombay University, where she excelled and emerged at the top of her class.
Breaking Barriers at the Indian Institute of Science
Dr Sohonie’s exceptional academic achievements led to her induction as the first woman into the prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISc). However, her journey at the institute was not without challenges. During her initial year, she encountered gender bias from her director, who questioned the capabilities of women in the scientific field.
Determined to prove herself, Dr Sohonie showcased her competence and obtained permission to continue her research. Her perseverance and hard work eventually impressed her director, leading to a shift in perspective and greater acceptance of women at IISc.
Contributions to Biochemistry
Undeterred by the obstacles she faced, Dr Kamala Sohonie dedicated herself to studying the various proteins found in legumes. She did a lot of study and studied the nutritional advantages of beans, especially for kids, during the ensuing years.
In 1936, she successfully published her thesis on this subject, which earned her a master’s degree. Subsequently, she secured a research scholarship at Cambridge University, further augmenting her expertise in the field.
Battling Food Adulteration
During the early 1970s, the prevalence of food adulteration was a significant concern in India. Reports of silver foil-covered gulab jamuns containing high amounts of aluminum, as well as the presence of spurious food-coloring agents, sawdust-filled powders, and deceptive weight measurements, were rampant.
Dr Kamala Sohonie recognized the urgency of this issue and took action. She introduced on-the-spot food quality tests at the Consumer Guidance Society of India show, aiming to combat food adulteration. However, before entering this male-dominated realm, she herself had to undergo a rigorous year-long quality test.
Dr Kamala Sohonie’s pioneering work in biochemistry and her resilience in overcoming gender bias continue to inspire generations of women in India and around the world. Her journey serves as a testament to the power of determination and passion in pursuing one’s dreams, despite societal challenges.
Google’s heartfelt tribute through a special doodle on her 112th birth anniversary reflects the profound impact she has had on the field of biochemistry and her invaluable contributions to society as a whole. Read more article here.