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‘It takes a woman and her unflinching will to bring about reform’: Google pays tribute to Fatima Sheikh

Battling inequality lifelong, Sheikh went door-to-door to inculcate the spirit of education and empowerment among the downtrodden in her community.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 10, 2022 10:06:37 am
Google doodle, Fatima Sheikh, first Muslim woman teacher, first school for lower caste, women's education, indian expressGoogle pays tribute to Fatima Sheikh

Considered to be the first Muslim woman teacher in India, Google on Sunday paid tribute to educator and feminist icon Fatima Sheikh on her 191st birth anniversary.

Notably, Sheikh played an important role in establishing one of India’s first schools for girls. Sheikh co-founded the Indigenous Library in 1848 along with pioneers of women’s education and social reformers, Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule.

“It takes a woman and her unflinching will to bring about reform in the face of resistance,” Google India tweeted.

Sheikh was born on January 9, 1831, in Pune, Maharashtra. She lived with her brother Usman. They welcomed the Phule couple to their home after they were evicted for attempting to educate lower caste people. The Indigenous Library was opened under the Sheikhs’ roof.

Dalits, Muslim women and children from marginalised communities, to whom doors of the school were shut, gained education with the efforts of Phule and Sheikh.

“Although Sheikh’s story has been historically overlooked, the Indian government shone new light on her achievements in 2014 by featuring her profile in Urdu textbooks alongside other trailblazing Indian educators,” said Google India.

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