Fatima Sheikh Biography, Wiki, Age, Career, Google Doodle | Who was Social Reformer Fatima Sheikh?

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Who was Fatima Sheikh?

Fatima Sheikh was an Indian educator and social reformer, who was a colleague of the social reformers Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule.

Google Doodle honours social reformer, feminist icon Fatima Sheikh on her 191st birthday

Google Doodle honours social reformer, feminist icon Fatima Sheikh on her 191st birthday
Google Doodle honours social reformer, feminist icon Fatima Sheikh on her 191st birthday

Google is on Sunday celebrating the 191st birth anniversary of educator and feminist icon Fatima Sheikh with a meticulously-crafted doodle. She is widely known as India’s first Muslim woman teacher.

Hailed as “lifelong champion” in her field, Sheikh, alongside social reformers Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule, co-founded one of India’s first schools for girls in 1848 and named it the Indigenous Library.

The beautiful Google Doodle in a combination of white, blue and yellow adds an illustration of Sheikh along with two open books in the background. The doodle is simple yet presents Sheikh’s career at a glance.

Fatima Sheikh Biography, Wiki

Fatima Sheikh Biography Wikipedia
Fatima Sheikh

Fatima Sheikh was the sister of Mian Usman Sheikh, in whose house Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule took up residence. One of the first Muslim women teachers of modern India, she started educating Dalit children in Phules’ school. 

Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule along with Fatima Sheikh took charge of spreading education among the downtrodden communities. Vfgju Sheikh met Savitribai Phule while both were enrolled at a teacher training institution run by Cynthia Farrar, an American missionary. 

She taught at all five schools that the Phule’s went on to establish and she taught children of all religions and castes. Sheikh took part in the founding of two schools in Bombay in 1851.

Born on January 9, 1831, in Pune, Fatima Sheikh is hailed for her resilience and pioneering role in supporting the idea of education for all. As a young girl, she lived with her brother Usman.

The siblings opened their home to Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule after they were evicted for attempting to educate people from the lower castes. Eventually, Sheikh, alongside her fellow pioneers and social reformers Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule, co-founded the Indigenous Library in 1848.

At the library, Sheikh taught communities of marginalised Dalit and Muslim women and children who were denied entry to conventional schools on the basis of caste, creed, religion and gender. The combined efforts were recognised as Satyashodhak Samaj (Truthseekers’ Society) movement.

“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,” Google said in a statement, explaining today’s doodle.

Her life stands as a testament to social reforms that were championed by Indian women in the pre-independence time, despite social criticism. As per Google’s Blogspot, Sheikh’s story had been “historically overlooked” until 2014 when the Indian government highlighted her achievements in Urdu test books alongside other trailblazing Indian educators.

Her work is also of the greatest significance for the oppressed Dalits and Muslims, as she was among the firsts to launch the joint struggle to make their voices heard.

Fatima Sheikh Career

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

Sheikh and her brother, Usman, opened their home to the Phule’s after the couple was evicted for attempting to educate people in lower castes.

Sheikh started educating Dalit children and the three took charge of spreading education among the downtrodden communities.

They taught Dalits and Muslim women and children who were denied education based on their gender, class or religion.

Sheikh used to go door-to-door to invite the underprivileged and downtrodden in her community to learn at the Indigenous Library and escape the rigidity of the Indian caste system.

Her and Phules’ efforts to provide educations opportunities to the lower castes became known as the Satyashodhak Samaj (Truthseekers’ Society) movement.

But much like the Phules, she met resistance from dominant classes who attempted to humiliate those involved in the Satyashodhak movement.

Fatima Sheikh FAQ’s

Who was Fatima Sheikh?

Fatima Sheikh was an Indian educator and social reformer, who was a colleague of the social reformers Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule.

Why is Fatima Sheikh trending?

Google is on Sunday celebrating the 191st birth anniversary of educator and feminist icon Fatima Sheikh with a meticulously-crafted doodle. She is widely known as India’s first Muslim woman teacher.

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