Fatima Sheikh co-founded the Indigenous Library, one of India’s first schools for girls, in 1848 with fellow pioneers and social reformers Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule.
With a doodle today, Google honors Fatima Sheikh, an educator and feminist hero widely regarded as India’s first Muslim woman teacher. Sheikh co-founded the Indigenous Library, one of India’s first schools for females, in 1848 with fellow pioneers and social reformers Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule.
Fatima Sheikh was born in Pune on this day in 1831. She resided with her brother Usman, and after the couple was evicted for attempting to educate individuals from lower castes, the brothers opened their home to the Phule’s. Under the Sheikhs’ roof, the Indigenous Library was established. Savitribai Phule and Fatima Sheikh taught a community of Dalit and Muslim women and children who had been denied an education because of their class, religion, or gender.
Sheikh walked door-to-door in her neighborhood, inviting the poor to learn at the Indigenous Library and escape the rigidity of the Indian caste system, as a lifetime champion of this campaign for equality. Sheikh and her allies faced stiff opposition from the ruling classes, who attempted to humiliate individuals participating in the Satyashodhak movement, but they persisted.
In 2014, the Indian government highlighted Fatima Sheikh’s accomplishments by including her in Urdu textbooks among other trailblazing educators.