Telling the Stories of South Asia: A Conversation With Sailaja Joshi of Bharat Babies

By Sailaja Joshi

From The Aerogram

Two years ago while pregnant with her first child, Sailaja Joshi was determined to find a set of children’s books that narrated the stories of India’s heritage and culture. As a sociologist and anthropologist by training, Sailaja understood the critical developmental role of representative literature and wanted books appropriate for her daughter from the minute she was born. The disappointing results startled Joshi. More often than not, the books she found were problematic in their depiction of South Asians and were intended for older children.

That’s when she decided to solve the problem herself. Joshi launched Bharat Babies, a publishing company with the mission of designing and producing developmentally appropriate books that tell the story of India’s heritage. Bharat Babies’ first book, Hanuman and the Orange Sun, is expected to launch in May 2015 and is available for pre-order.

I recently sat down with the busy mother and entrepreneur to talk about the intersections of faith, representation, and identity. The following interview has been edited for length.

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