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Google Doodle Honours Indian Educator, Feminist Icon Fatima Sheikh on Her 191st Birth Anniversary
Fatima Sheikh, born on this day in 1831 in Pune, was India's first woman Muslim teacher.
New Delhi: Google paid a tribute to educator and feminist icon Fatima Sheikh with a doodle on its homepage today on what would have been her 191st birthday. Fatima Sheikh, born on this day in 1831 in Pune, was India’s first woman Muslim teacher.
Fatima Sheikh, alongside fellow pioneers and social reformers Jyotirao and Savitribai Phulein, co-founded one of India’s first schools for girls – the Indigenous Library in 1848.
She lived with her brother Usman, and the siblings opened their home to the Phules after the couple was evicted for attempting to educate people in lower castes. The school Indigenous Library was opened under her roof.
At her house, Savitribai Phule and Fatima Sheikh taught communities of marginalised Dalit and Muslim women and children who were denied education based on class, religion, or gender.
As a lifelong champion of this movement for equality, Sheikh went door-to-door to invite the downtrodden in her community to learn at the Indigenous Library and escape the rigidity of the Indian caste system. She met great resistance from the dominant classes who attempted to humiliate those involved in the Satyashodhak movement, but Sheikh and her allies persisted.
The Indian government shone new light on Fatima Sheikh’s achievements in 2014 by featuring her profile in Urdu textbooks alongside other trailblazing educators.