Fatima Sheikh: Google Doodle Pays Tribute To India’s First Muslim Woman Teacher, On Her 191st Birthday


Google Doodle is celebrating the 191st birthday of Fatima Sheikh, India’s first woman teacher on October 14. Fatima was honored by being the subject of a Google Doodle posted on the world wide web recently.

Fatima was born in 1845 in Calicut to Ali Musliyar and Kunhi Bai. She lost her father at a young age and was brought up by her uncle. She lost her mother when she was 21 years old.

She had to discontinue her education due to financial constraints, but later took it up again and passed the teacher’s training course conducted by the London Missionary Society in 1871. She began teaching at a boarding school of the same institution.

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Fatima Sheikh

Fatima’s husband, Abdul Karim, was also a teacher by profession. After marriage, she had to stop teaching due to opposition from her in-laws. However, her determination could not be crushed and Fatima restarted teaching at Fareed General School in Calicut. She also started campaigning for women’s education through public lectures.

Fatima was the first woman in Kerala to wear a veiled robe. She was confined to her home after marriage and wore a veil even while teaching.

Fatima passed away in 1911. In an obituary, The Hindu wrote: “In the death of Mrs. Fatima, South India loses its first lady teacher”.

Google doodle is a temporary alteration of the logo on Google’s webpage, intended to celebrate holidays, events, achievements, and people. Some are global, while others honor specific localities or individuals.

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