Muthulakshmi Reddi was born on the 30th of July 1886 in Pudukottai, Tamil Nadu to Narayanaswami Iyer, a principal of the Maharaja College at the time and Chandramma, a former Devadasi.
She broke the barriers of gender and pushed the boundaries in multiple areas leaving a mark in the fields of medicine, education, and law. As she was very intimately affected by the Devadasi system, she worked for years to shut down the brothels and was finally able to get the Immoral Traffic Control Act to pass. She also built them a safe haven at her own house at Adyar.
Did you know that the Leaders of her time even included her name in the first flag of Independent India that was hoisted at the Red Fort in 1947?
She built The Adyar Cancer Institute in 1954 to take for cancer patients and make sure people get proper medical care regardless of their social background, her main inspiration behind this was losing one of her sisters to cancer at an early age.
On 1956 she was awarded the Padma Bhushan for contribution to the development and growth of women in our country! Sadly, she passed away in the year 1968 but the impressions of her contribution towards women empowerment still stand today.