Connecting with mums around the world this Mother’s Day

March 04, 2016

Bharati family

From left: Hena (11), Jyoti (14), Nayam (7), Bharati, Ruta (10)


As mums across the UK are waking up to breakfast in bed and bouquets of flowers this Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating mums the world over. Despite the differences between mums in the UK and those living in the developing world, one thing unites all mothers; a love for their children.

That’s certainly true of mum-of-four, Bharati Naik who lives in Odisha in eastern India. Bharati and her four daughters were living on a budget of less than £1 per day before she joined a Traidcraft initiative in her village. A cotton farmer, Bharati used to take her children to work with her, out on the fields in the baking Indian sun. Life for Bharati and her girls was a struggle. Making a meagre wage, she struggled to feed and clothe her children properly, and their education suffered.

Since working with Traidcraft, Bharati’s cotton farm has gone from strength to strength. Her crops, which are grown organically, have expanded to bring in better income. She has learned better farming techniques to help maximise her yield, which she shares with the other farmers in her village. She’s also been trained in basic medical care, ensuring her neighbours have help when they need it.

You can help us to help other mums like Bharati this Mother’s Day. Visit to make a donation to our Let it Grow appeal, or support us by buying from our selection of Fairtrade products at




Life in Odisha

We asked Bharati’s daughters; Jyoti, Hena, Ruta and Nayam, to tell us more about their life in Odisha.

Describe a typical day: They generally wake at 5.30am each day. After cleaning their teeth, they eat popped rice and tea for their breakfast. Occasionally they have biscuits with their breakfast.

They complete their bathing before 9.00am and before they go to school they eat watered rice (Pakhal) with saga (a type of green leaf) and pickle.

Jyoti’s school is at Karlaguda village about 2km from her house, so she sets off at 9.00am travelling by bicycle. The other girls attend the village school every day at 10.00am.

Except for Jyoti, the other three girls have their lunch in a midday meal programme at school which is supported by the state government.Usually the school serves rice, dal and mixed vegetable curry with soybean badi (nuggets). Egg curry is also provided to the children twice a week.

There is no midday meal provision at Jyoti’s school, so she takes Rs.5 – Rs.10 (around £0.05 - £0.10) to purchase snacks during lunch time.

In the evening, the girls return home around 4.00pm and have some light snacks such as popped rice or flattened rice. They play games like skipping, KhoKho (a ‘tag’ game) or Kabaddi (an ancient Indian contact sport) with some of the other girls from the village and help their mum with household chores. From 6.00pm until 8.00pm they study and complete their homework.

For dinner, the girls have rice dal or curry, and go to bed at around 8.30pm.

Describe their favourite foods:
Jyoti – Alu bhujia (a spicy potato snack) and kheer (rice pudding)
Hena – Badi bhaja (a fermented rice dish) and chocolate
Ruta – Fried dal and cauliflower curry
Nayam – Egg omelette, aloo bhat (a mashed potato and rice dish)

Describe their least favourite foods:
Jyoti – Bitter goad, tamarind
Hena – Bitter goad
Ruta – Pointed gourd
Nayam – Bitter goad, brinjal (aubergine)

What are their hobbies?
The girls enjoy dancing, singing, listening to music and playing with dolls.

What is their least favourite subject in school?
Jyoti – Literature
Hena – Literature
Ruta – Literature and geography
Nayam – Science and maths

What do they want to be when they grow up?
Jyoti – Police Officer
Hena – Teacher
Ruta – Doctor
Nayam – Nurse

If they could have one wish granted, what would it be?
All of them wish for their family to be happy and healthy always.