Google doodle celebrates 191st birth anniversary of Fatima Sheikh, a feminist icon and educator

Alongside fellow pioneers and social reformers Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule, Fatima Sheikh co-founded the Indigenous library in 1848, one of India’s first schools for girls.

Fatima Sheikh was born on January 9, 1831 in Pune
(Photo:-Google.com)

Google often honours the great personalities with its doodle. On sunday, Google doodle honours the Fatima Sheikh on her 191st birth anniversary, who was a feminist icon and an educator. She is widely considered to be India’s first muslim woman teacher.

She co-founded the indigenous library in 1848 alongside her fellow pioneers and social reformers Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule. This was India’s first schools for girls.

Fatima Sheikh was born on January 9, 1831 in Pune. She lived with her brother Usman Sheikh, and the siblings opened their home to the Phules after the couple was evicted for attempting to educate people in lower castes. The indigenous library opened under the Sheikh’s roof where 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.

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“It takes a woman and her unflinching will to bring about reform in the face of resistance. Our #GoogleDoodle, celebrating the 191st birthday of #FatimaSheikh, honours her efforts to educate the underprivileged community,” Google India tweeted.

It takes a woman and her unflinching will 💪 to bring about reform in the face of resistance.

Our #GoogleDoodle, celebrating the 191st birthday of #FatimaSheikh, honours her efforts to educate the underprivileged community 💗 Know more: https://t.co/GhSDhFMO6X. pic.twitter.com/Xyg1UBSgP9

— Google India (@GoogleIndia) January 9, 2022

The Phule’s efforts to provide educational opportunities to those who born into India’s lower castes became known as Satyashodak Samaj (Truthseekers’ society) movement. As a lifelong champion of this movement for equality, Fatima 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 Satyashodak movement, but Sheikh and her allies persisted.

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.

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