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Kerala’s First Muslim Woman Panchayat President Passes Away

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Ayishakutty, 91, the first woman panchayat president from the Muslim community in Kerala,passed away recently. A native of Nannammukku in Malappuram, she had been undergoing treatment for age-related illnesses. She became the president of Nannammukku panchayat in 1979. She had been an inspiration to many women as she courageously took up the path of politics and social service at a time when many women, especially from her community, were not allowed to go out of their houses. Despite warnings not to go out and speak publicly citing gender and religious issues, Ayishakutty chose to get education and interact with people to learn the problems in society. She became the first woman to complete SSLC in Ponnani taluk. A Congress leader, she was also the first woman panchayat president in Malappuram district. After completing the first term as panchayat president, she served as a member from 1984 to 1991. She became the president of Nannammukku panchayat again in 1995. Apart from being active in politics, she also worked as a teacher at AMLP School, Punnayurkulam, Thrissur.
Abdul Kareem, the present panchayat president of Nannammukku, said Ayishakutty was a powerful leader who had implemented several development projects in the panchayat. “She had introduced the project to provide land to the landless people in the panchayat. Also, she worked relentlessly to end the drinking water problem and other issues in the agricultural sector in the panchayat,” said Kareem.
(For details, see www.newindianexpress.com)