February 28, 2019
Ipshita Dutta was married when she was just 17. Her family was very poor and didn’t own any livestock. A nervous and shy young woman, Ipshita was reluctant to join any group, but at the insistence of her sister-in-law, decided to attend the Heifer group. It was the self-help group that gave her the knowledge and confidence she needed.
The group taught lpshita how to effectively raise chickens. She typically keeps a flock of about 30 birds, reserving some for consumption and some for sale. She has had issues with mortality from disease, but Heifer’s resources taught her how to keep her animals healthy.
Recently her brother-in-law died of snake-bite. Ipshita and her family were devastated. The man and his wife had two children. Ipshita wanted to do something for the family and thought to reach out to government departments by working with her self-help group. She learned about a government relief program that assists families who have had a member die of snakebite. Though she knew of no family who had received this assistance, despite plenty of deaths due to snakebite in the area, she managed to secure the family their right to 400,000 rupees, or about $5,650.
While that brought some financial relief to the family, her sister-in-law could not take the loss of losing her husband and passed away within one year. Ipshita quickly adopted her brother-in-law's children. She rents out the house of her brother-in-law to earn extra money for the children.
She has found ways of coming out of despair every time she has been tested. She is determined to make her life and the lives of all her children better. One can see the spark of courage and feeling of perseverance in her character. Community members see a leader and pathfinder in lpshita.