‘It takes a woman and her unflinching will to bring about reform’: Google pays tribute to India’s Fatima Sheikh

News Network
January 9, 2022

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Google is celebrating the 191st birth anniversary of Indian educator and feminist icon Fatima Sheikh, who is widely considered to be India’s first Muslim woman teacher, by featuring a doodle for her. Alongside fellow pioneers and social reformers Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule, Sheikh co-founded the Indigenous Library in 1848, one of India’s first schools for girls.

Fatima was born on this day in 1831 in Pune. She lived with her brother Usman, and the siblings opened their home to the Phules after the couple was evicted for attempting to educate people in lower castes. The Indigenous Library opened under the Sheikhs’ roof.

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

The Phules’ efforts to provide educational opportunities to those born into lower castes became known as the Satyashodhak Samaj (Truthseekers’ Society) movement. As a lifelong champion of this movement for equality, Sheikh went door-to-door to invite the downtrodden in her community to learn at the Indigenous Library and escape the rigidity of the caste system.

She met great resistance from the dominant classes who attempted to humiliate those involved in the Satyashodhak movement, but Sheikh and her allies persisted.

Although Sheikh’s story has been historically overlooked, the Indian government shone new light on her achievements in 2014 by featuring her profile in Urdu textbooks alongside other trailblazing Indian educators.

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Krupaharini M
January 11,2022

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Loss, suffering, and death tallies entered the everyday vocabulary of COVID news and dinner table conversations. In this desensitised world, Mafazah Sharafuddin’s In Memoriam, with a poem by the same name as its headliner, comes as an enclave which wombs each of us to share the burden of these dark times. The poet is an enthusiastic final-year student of Journalism, Psychology, and English. 

With a staggering span of forty poems, this anthology published by The Alcove Publishers has a genealogy that sets it apart from the plethora of books being published every minute. What makes this anthology one-of-its-kind is that Mafazah’s experimental artwork, and not just poetry, is scattered across its pages. This artwork has travelled a long way to the pages of the anthology, from the ink of her pen onto the cursor of her computer. 

Candied words and ornamental language would not grasp the authenticity of emotions explored by this poet. The poetry and art in this anthology is grotesque, in-your-face, shocking, and helplessly black-and-white, just as the pandemic has been. Her works have the air of critically acclaimed composition, making In Memoriam an archive of groundbreaking originality.

This visual entry into her world-building is a sought-after experience after the success of her first anthology, Labyrinth of Emotions, which she got published at the age of sixteen. 

The poet shed any illusions of normalcy at the threshold to compile this book. To explore the erratic waves of emotions and paper cuts of the pandemic, the poet and artiste embraces the abnormal and breaks patterns of language and art. After all, would rule-obeying, syntactical art or poetry do justice to the perils of the pandemic generation? So, as the poet eloquently puts it, “The world falls apart, and all I can do is tell its story”. This anthology, then, is as much our stories, as it is hers.

Secure your copy in the below link before it is sold out. 

Paperback: In Memoriam

Kindle India: In Memoriam

Kindle International: In Memoriam

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News Network
January 10,2022

UAE has announced a travel ban on unvaccinated citizens from January 10.

The National Crisis & Emergency Management Authority and Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation said that fully vaccinated citizens will also need to get the Covid-19 booster dose.

Those who are unable to take the vaccine because of medical reasons are exempted from the decision.

The announcement is in line with the country’s vision in the recovery phase of the pandemic and enhancing national efforts in all sectors, due to the global epidemiological situation and the current high rate of infections, to preserve the health and safety of citizens.

The ministry also stressed the requirement to receive the booster dose for vaccinated citizens as per the national protocol on travel.

Travel is permitted for unvaccinated citizens of the following categories, citizens medically exempted from taking the vaccine, humanitarian cases, and individuals traveling from medical and treatment purposes.

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News Network
January 13,2022

With Covid-19 cases surging in India, clouds have formed over the likelihood of India being the venue for the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL).

The Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI)  is mulling holding the league outside of India amid the ongoing scenario. However, unlike the past two years where the IPL has been partially or fully held in UAE because of the pandemic, the BCCI is now keen to look at other options for the flagship event.

Cricket board officials are considering South Africa and Sri Lanka as their backup options for IPL 2022, according to a report in The Indian Express.

“We can’t be dependent on UAE all the time so we decided to explore more options, South Africa’s time difference also works out well for the players,” a BCCI official told the publication.

South Africa, so far, has hosted two cricket series and has impressed BCCI officials for the way the country handled the Indian players.

“The place where the team was staying for the second Test is spread over several acres. There were walking tracks and even a pond on the property and that has made things easier for the players who for the last couple of years or so have been confined to their rooms on several overseas tours,” an official said.

A BCCI official, recently said that the board is prioritising holding the tournament in India but the decision will be dependent on what the state governments decide.

BCCI had to postpone the upcoming edition of the Ranji Trophy indefinitely due to the rise in Covid cases in the camps. The domestic U19 Behar Trophy was also halted midway for the same reason.

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