Kendrapada,Odisha: Gouri Das lives with her husband, two children and mother-in-law in Purba Suniti village of Kendrapada district of Odisha.


Gouri’s family of five depended on farming for their livelihood in their 1.5 acre of single cropped land. To supplement the family income, Gouri’s husband Puronjan ran a tuition centre for students from class one to class nine. Around 20 students attended the class.


Gouri used to do number of things every day including looking after their cow, helping on the farm and also managing household chores. Her responsibility also included foraging for cattle dung from grazing ground post paddy harvest season, sweeping leaf litter from road side and collecting twigs from mangroves forest to stock fuel for cooking.


Gouri’s family needed about 8kg-9kg of fuel (cow-dung cake, twigs and small quantity of dry leaf for cooking). They used have two traditional chullahs – one inside and the other outside; used as per weather condition and the seasons. She used to spend 4 to 5 hours for cooking, every day. “I always wanted to join hand in tuition but there was hardly any time”, shared Gouri.