Basanti lives in the small village of Orissa. She joined Heifer India's Tribal Empowerment Through Sustainable Livelihood Program in 2010 as a member of a self help group. This month, Bansantis village had visitors when the chairperson of the Heifer India Advisory Committee and his guest came to witness the transformation taking place with the help of Heifer India.
As per their tradition, self help group welcomed the visitors, invited them to participate in their meeting and gave them an update of their activities. Then Basanti and her fellow group members took the visitors to see their kitchen gardens. The two gentlemen, being familiar with Basantis culture, were highly encouraged by these. They knew that tribal communities rarely ate green vegetables, preferring crops like potato and cassava. But the lushly-green garden told a different story. They presented the visitors with a ripe papaya.
Impromptu, the group decided that they had an opportunity to pass on some gifts. Three families passed on goats to another two families. This was a decision the group took on its own and organized the ceremony in a span of fifteen minutes. The warmth of the ceremony surrounded the visitors even after they left the village, despite the fact that it delayed their departure by half an hour.
Editors note: This post is part of a series that follows the progress of specific families, starting at the beginning of their work with Heifer. Today's post is the second in a series of quarterly updates on the progress of Basanti and her family.