The first statue of Fatima Sheikh, one of the first Muslim women teachers in modern India, was revealed on Thursday in Andhra Pradesh.
The ceremony was held at the Zilla Parishad Urdu High School in Emmiganur, Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh.
Fatima Sheikh was one of India’s most distinguished social reformers and educators, as well as the country’s first Muslim woman to teach contemporary education.
Jyoti Rao Phule and Savitribai, social reformers who pushed for girls’ education, were said to have lived with her.
Fatima Sheikh pushed the couple to create the first all-girls school in Bombay Presidency at the former’s residence in formerly Poona and thought kids at all five of the Phules’ schools would benefit.
In 1851, she founded two schools on her own in Mumbai and made a significant role in educating Dalit youngsters.
Previously, the government of Andhra Pradesh incorporated a lesson on Fatima Sheikh’s accomplishments to eighth-grade textbooks.
The statue of Fatima was given to the school by Nakkmittala Srinivasulu.
The celebration included Patnam Rajeswari, who conducted the programme, as well as High School headmaster Kondaiah, instructors, and students, among others.
Also present were social activists N. Vijyalakshmi, K. Jeelan, Parashi Asadulla, Prbhavathamma, and the writer SVD Azeej (Kurnool).
Who was Fatima Sheikh?
Sheikh, who was born in Pune on January 9, 1831, was a feminist and icon who, along with social reformers Jyotirao Phule and Savitribai Phule, co-founded one of India’s first schools for girls, the Indigenous Library, in 1848.
Sheikh allegedly met Savitribai Phule in an institution for teacher training run by the American missionary Cynthia Farrar. In 1851, she participated in the establishment of two schools in Bombay.
Phule and Sheikh educated the Dalit and Muslim women and children who were discriminated against on the basis of their religion, caste, or gender and refused an education.
Sheikh actively participated in the ‘Satyashodhak Samaj’ (Truthseekers Society) equity movement to provide educational chances to the disadvantaged populations. She went door-to-door to welcome people to the Indigenous Library, encourage them to seek education, and break down rigid Indian castes.
The movement encountered opposition and pushback from the dominant classes, who attempted to humiliate all participants but failed terribly.
The Indian government has acknowledged her contributions to society by including her and other great educators in Undu textbooks.