Google labels the birth anniversaries of many renowned people with a special doodle and on Sunday Google marked the 191st birthday of Fatima Sheikh who is an educator and feminist icon.
Fatima Sheikh was born on 9th January 1831, in Pune and is widely considered as the first Muslim woman teacher of the nation. Fatima, along with fellow notable social reformers like Jyotirao Phule and Savitribai Phule in 1848 co-founded the Indigenous Library which is known as one of India’s first schools for girls, the company stated.
“She lived with her brother Usman, and the siblings opened their home to the Phule’s after the couple was evicted for attempting to educate people in lower castes. The Indigenous Library opened under the Sheikhs’ roof. Here, 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,” Google rightly stated.
Fatima Sheikh was a lifelong conqueror of the ‘Satyashodhak Samaj’ (Truthseekers’ Society) which is the movement for equality to give educational opportunities to the oppressed communities by the Phule’s and went from one door to another and invited the members in her community to learn and gain knowledge at the Indigenous Library to break out of the rigidity of the Indian caste system. She met huge resistance from the upper privileged classes who tried to humiliate those who are certainly involved in the Satyashodhak movement, but Fatima Sheikh and her allies continued to do their work.
In 2014, the Indian government sparked new light on her works and achievements by presenting her profile in Urdu textbooks along with other revolutionary Indian educators.