Sheikh, who has struggled with inequality her entire life, went door-to-door to instill the spirit of education and empowerment among the oppressed in her community.
Google paid tribute to Fatima Sheikh, considered the first Muslim woman teacher in India, on her 191st birth anniversary on Sunday.
Notably, Sheikh was instrumental in the establishment of one of India’s first all-girls schools. Fatima Sheikh co-founded the Indigenous Library in 1848 along with Jyotirao Phule and Savitribai Phule, pioneers of women’s education and social reformers.
“It takes a woman and her unflinching determination to bring about reform in the face of opposition,” Google India tweeted.
Fatima Sheikh was born in Pune, Maharashtra, on January 9, 1831. She shared a home with her brother Usman. After being evicted for attempting to educate lower caste people, they welcomed the Phule couple into their home. Under the Sheikhs’ roof, the Indigenous Library was established.
With the help of Phule and Sheikh, Dalits, Muslim women, and children from marginalized communities who had been denied access to the school received an education.
“Although Sheikh’s storey has historically been overlooked, the Indian government shone new light on her achievements in 2014 by featuring her profile in Urdu textbooks alongside other trailblazing Indian educators,” Google India said.
About Fatima Sheikh