Google honors teacher Fatima Sheikh, a feminist icon, with a doodle

Fatima Shaikh, along with fellow pioneers and social reformers Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule, founded the Swadeshi Library in 1848, one of India’s first schools for girls.

Fatima Sheikh was born on this day in 1831 in Pune

New Delhi: Google today celebrated teacher and feminist icon Fatima Sheikh, widely regarded as India’s first Muslim female teacher, with a doodle. Sheikh, along with fellow pioneers and social reformers Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule, founded the Swadeshi Library in 1848, one of India’s first schools for girls.

Fatima Sheikh was born on this day in 1831 in Pune. She lived with her brother Osman, and the siblings opened their home to Phule after the couple was evicted for attempting to educate people in the lower castes. Swadeshi library opened under the roof of sheikhs.

Here Savitribai Phule and Fatima Sheikh taught marginalized communities of Dalit and Muslim women and children who were denied education on the basis of class, religion or gender.

As a lifelong champion of this movement for equality, Sheikh went door-to-door inviting Dalits from his community to learn in the Swadeshi library and escape the rigors of the Indian caste system. He faced heavy resistance from the dominant classes who tried to humiliate those involved in the Satyashodhak movement, but Shaikh and his allies stood firm.

Phule’s efforts to provide educational opportunities to those born in the lower castes of India came to be known as the Satyashodhak Samaj (Satyashodhak Samaj) movement. As a lifelong champion of this movement for equality, Sheikh went door-to-door inviting Dalits from his community to learn in the Swadeshi library and escape the rigors of the Indian caste system. He faced heavy resistance from the dominant classes who tried to humiliate those involved in the Satyashodhak movement, but Shaikh and his allies stood firm.

Although Sheikh’s story has historically been overlooked, the Indian government shed new light on his achievements in 2014 by displaying his profile in Urdu textbooks alongside other leading Indian teachers.

The Government of India shed new light on the achievements of Fatima Sheikh in 2014 and displayed her profile in Urdu textbooks along with other prominent teachers.

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