Landlessness is a key cause of poverty and vulnerability in rural India, more so among lower caste communities. A key reason behind the continued landlessness and land-deprivation despite pro-poor reform legislation has been poor legal awareness and access to legal services.
Realizing the significance of land in poverty eradication, Andhra Pradesh launched the Bhoomi (IKP-land) program to assist the poor in access to land, land development, land purchase and to identify tenant farmers for distributing loan eligibility cards.
The IKP- land paralegals mechanism follows a bottom-up approach building on trusted local resource persons, which was highly efficient in achieving tenure security for the poor at low cost.
Education and awareness activities were carried out through the women’s Self Help Group (SHG) institutional mechanism to improve the land literacy of the poor and vulnerable.
Along with pro-poor land-legislation, the poor need to be made aware of and exercise their land rights through interventions like land literacy.
Land problems can be solved also by involving institutions outside the Land Revenue Department viz. education, research institutions and NGOs.
Trained human resources at multi-levels can better provide legal assistance and undertake community surveys to address complex land issues affecting the poor through strategic partnerships with NGOs and Panchayats.
As land issues concerning the most vulnerable viz. members of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and women are important, a robust system of identification and monitoring their issues and empowering local institutions for decentralized and pro-poor land revenue service delivery is critical.
Authors and Publishers
Authors: Pranab Ranjan Choudhury
Series editor: Mercedes Stickler
Publication Design & Illustrations: Navin Kumar Amang
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