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Untold Stories: The Travelling Ayahs Of The British Raj

Several projects are mapping the incredible journeys of South Asian women who were employed as ayahs with British and European families in the 19th century

Many ayahs travelled to Europe, Australia, and Britain with their employer families Photos: Getty Images

There has been discussion around the adventurous women who travelled to India from Britain in the 19th century to seek a suitable spouse or to explore the region. However, little is known about another group of travelling women—the ayahs, who worked for British and European families. These women embarked on journeys across various landscapes and territories of the Empire, encountering multiple geographical, social, and economic conditions.