Fatima Meer was born in Durban, daughter of Moosa and Amina Meer.
Established literacy classes for adults in her father's garage
She spent one year at Wits University and became a member of the  Progressive Forum a Trotskyite group which was affiliated to the NEUM.
 Raised £1 000 for the famine relief in Bengal
Her political career began at the age of 17 when she was a high school student. The Indian community suffered the enactment of the first segregation act which restricted their economic and residential rights to specific areas in the country. The Indian community resisted by organising Satyagraha, the first since Gandhi's Satyagraha at the close of the century.
Meer mobilised hight schools students and established the Students Passive Resistance Committee to canvass and raise funds for the Passive Resistance Campaign.
As student leader she addressed a number of mass meetings during the cause of the Passive Resistance Campaign sharing the platform with the leaders of the resistance, Doctors Dadoo, GM Naicker and Dr. Goonum.
Was one of the keynote speakers at a mass meeting held to protests against the governments proposed Group Areas Act.
Meer and Dr. Goonam were the first women to be elected on to the Executive of the Natal Indian Congress.
Founded the Durban and District Women's League immediately on the heels of the 1949 Riots, manipulated by the whites to divide Indians and Africans who had begun to work together politically as the ANC and NIC. She was the Secretary of the League with Bertha Mkhize, president of the ANC Women's League, as the Chairperson. This was the first organisation in South Africa in which Indians and Africans formed a common membership.
The League took up issues on behalf of African women who were billeted with passes and suffered wholesale arrest for a number of racial infringements. It also campaigned among Indians themselves to stop their own segregatory practices against Africans like reserving segregated seats in Indian-owned cinemas. It focused its work in particular on Cato Manor, at the time the most depressed shack settlement and one of the worst hit areas by the 1949 Riots. It worked assiduously to heal the rift that had occurred during the 1949 Riots between Indians and Africans and to reconcile the two communities.  It also raised funds for the 1956 Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign
Was one of the first group of South Africans served with a banning order, for a period of five years. This confined her to the magisterial district of Durban and excluded her from all gatherings and from being published. Check this date
Banned by the Nationalist Government of South Africa for two years from all gatherings [private and public], from publishing, public speaking and from leaving the magisterial area of Durban.
Organised Indian, African and coloured women under the banner of Durban and Districts Women's League to combat racism by working in the most depressed community of Cato Manor, organising a creche and milk distribution. This was in direct response to the race riots against Indians, manipulated by the Nationalist Government. It also organised a mass Anti-Pass march in the Natal capital of Pietermaritzburg which led to the arrest of 600 women.
Founder member and member of the First Executive Committee of the Federation of South African Women which organised the famous Anti-Pass March on the Union Buildings in Pretoria in 1956.
Part of the organising committee to raise funds for bail and support for families of those Natal political leaders charged in the Treason Trial.
She became a staff member of the University of Natal (1956 to 1988). 
In the wake of the Sharpeville Massacre and the declaration of the State of Emergency when her Husband and other Natal political figures were detained Fathima organised weekly vigils outside the Durban prison. The small group also organized food and support for the families of the detainees. A march to the Mayor by families of detainees was intercepted and the women, including Meer were arrested.
Fatima worked closely the Gandhi family in organising a week long vigil at the Gandhi Settlement in Phoenix, bringing together African and Indians in prayer and a week long fast led by Sushila Gandhi, daughter-in-law of the Mahatma.
Fatima Meer was one of the figures in a campaign against capital punishment. Capital punishment was abolished thirty years later by the new democratic South African government.
Fatima was a prominent speaker during the Centennial of the arrival of Indians in South Africa at celebrations throughout the country.
She was closely involved in the Phoenix Settlement and member of its board - In 1969 she had her book "Portrait of Indian South Africans" published and she donated the total proceeds from the sale of her book, to the Gandhi Settlement towards the building of the Gandhi Museum and Clinic.
Involved in student and women's politics. Frequent speaker opposing the apartheid system on many platforms throughout the country on anti-apartheid and religious issues. Played a prominent part in bringing understanding between the communities on Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. Also delivered lectures on the philosophy of Gandhi.
Led rescue operations for 10 000 disadvantaged, Indian flood victims of Tin Town on the banks of the Umgeni River. Meer initiated their temporary settlement in tents and organised relief in food and clothing. She also successfully negotiated permanent housing for them in Phoenix.
Founded and headed the Natal Education Trust which raised large sums of money from the Indian community to build schools in African townships of Umlazi, Port Shepstone and Inanda.
Built the Chief Albert Luthuli and Dr Dube Administration Block and Library and the Mohamed Ali Student Centre at Ohlange High School, founded by Dr Dube in Inanda.
Founder member of the Institute for Black Research (IBR) a research and publishing venture. It also embarks on publishing and outreach programmes in education and welfare.
Banned for the second time for five years. This followed immediately after attending the founding meeting of the Black Studies Programme at which she delivered a scathing attack on the apartheid government as one of the key speakers in a address, entitled, "Twenty-Five Years of Apartheid Rule.
Organising member of the "International Women's Year Committee" to organise the responses of South African women to the international women's year. Edited the magazine "South African Women Speak".
Founder and first president of the Federation of Black Women in South Africa - a national body which campaigned for education and rural development. Practically the entire executive of the Federation, including Meer and Winnie Mandela, were detained without trial within months of its founding. The organisation banned in 1976.
In the wake of the nationwide protests after the Soweto student protests and the death of hundreds Fatima Meer worked closely with South Africa Student's Organisation [SASO]. The rally did not take place because the government passed a new regulation banning all outdoor gatherings.
She initiated a research project to gauge the response of Durban's communities to the Soweto Uprising. 
Detained without trial from August to December 1976 part of it in solitary confinement. Soon after her release from detention she and her family survived an assassination attempt, in which a male friend living at the Meer home was shot and injured.
Black Women's Federation and 17 other organisations are banned.
Arrested and charged twice for breaching banning order.
She established the Tembalishe Tutorial College at the Gandhi Settlement in the old Indian Opinion building. Trained students in secretarial practice and in typing. Student enrollment 25. This project ran until 1982. Established a Crafts Centre - screen printing, carpentry, sewing, embroidery, knitting, pottery, etc., - 60 participants - at the Gandhi Settlement in the old Indian Opinion building.
Both the Tutorial College and Crafts Centre were closed down when Meer was arrested for contravening her banning order in 1982 in that she had transgressed the Durban boundary to which she was confined. Meer went daily to work at the Crafts Centre and supervised the College knowing full well the risk that she was taking.
Organised scholarships and professional training for ten students to the USA.
Meer founded the Co-ordinating Committee of Black (Indian, Coloured, African) Ratepayers Organisations to address the injustices suffered in the black townships at the hands of the Durban municipality.
Assisted the "SAVE OUR HOMES COMMITTEE"  established by the Coloured community of Sparks Estate who were threatened by the Durban Municipality to have their homes taken away from them. They succeeded in being appropriately compensated.
Organised, through the assistance of Indira Gandhi, visas for seven African students to take up scholarships in India in medicine, veterinary and political science. Eighteen students were unable to proceed to India because of the South African governments refusal to grant them passports.
Re-banned for a further five years.
The IBR started Phambili High School at three centres with an enrollment of 3044 students in two shifts. It had, at the time, the highest enrollment of African matriculants at any high schools [450 students], in the country.
Started IBR-Natal Education Organisation to improve low African matric pass rate by organising tutorial programmes, particularly in science and maths. The project attracted 1200 students. 
She initiated a scholarship scheme to send 11 African students to pursue their studies at South African universities.
Formed the Clare Estate Environment Group in response to the problems faced by shack dwellers in the Western Areas of Durban (Springfield, Clare Estate, Sydenham). Assisted by providing them with water supplies and negotiated for proper housing. These shack dwellers who had migrated from the rural areas in search of jobs were regarded by the government as having no rights in the urban areas.
Founded the Khanyisa School Project as a bridging programme for African children from informal settlements in the urban area. These children were without schooling and required to be prepared to be enrolled at formal schools because of their low standard in the English language. The project was started in the Springfield/Clare Estate area at Springfield College of Education.
Fatima's son Rashid dies in a car accident.
Established the Khanya Women's Skill Training Centre which trains 150 African women from the "mjondolos" [jhoopar-patties] per annum in Pattern Cutting and Sewing, Basic Adult Literacy and Business Management. To date 320 women have graduated from the Centre.
May, Was one of the founders of the Concerned Citizen's Group [CCG], originally motivated by the need to persuade Indians not to vote for the white parties - National Party and Democratic Party - as they had done in the first elections.
The CCG played a pivotal role in mobilizing Indians in Chatsworth [population 550 000], to challenge council rents and eviction policies. The CCG brought and won two successful interdicts against the Council against unlawful evictions, and won reprieve with costs. She continues to be actively involved with the communities in that area.
August 12, Fatima Meer celebrates her 80th birthday.
March 13, Fatima Meer, 81, dies at the St Augustines hospital in Durban following a stroke she suffered two weeks before her death.

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