Land Rights claimed by single woman
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Land Rights claimed by single woman
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“I am not literate, but I have enrolled names of my children in the land records in order to avoid any fraud

regarding ownership of land with them.”

 

Country:              India

Occupation:       Woman farmer

 Status: Land Rights claimed by single woman, followed by adopting organic farming on her entitled land

  (Name: Bhanuben Khant; Village – Valuna; Block – Meghraj; District- Aravali, State- Guajrat)

 

 

Using Pheromone Trap in the field and growing vegetables for own

 

 

 

 

Bhanu, of 30 years today, has four children- two daughters and two sons. She lost her husband in 2013. Soon after her husband passed away, her elder brother-in-law was not willing to give her legal share of her agriculture land, because in her tribal community, young widowed women may remarry, and the general notion that ‘our land would go away in some other family’- kept her brother in law to refuse doing so.

 Bhanu however, didn’t want to remarry. In one of the programmes by the Para Legal Workers[1] Kamlaben and Atiben of the Swa Bhoomi Kendra (Land awareness and Legal literacy centre for women) run with the support of NGO Human Development and Research Centre (HDRC), Bhanu met the PLWs for support. Continuous dialogue with brother-in-law by the PLWs and Bhanu’s elder sister-in-law, the brother-in-laws were willing to share what was entitled to Bhanu: her share in agriculture land.

 

However, this was only the first hurdle crossed. Once the family agreed to give Bhanu her rightful share, Bhanu needed to procure death certificate of her husband. She visited the panchayat office four times to get these documents, but to no avail. She was not able to acquire these certificates. Bhanu again visited the PLWs.  With their support, she procured this certificate, as well as other procedural documents:  getting family tree prepared (genealogy), copy of land records, etc.

Finally, Bhanu’s name was entered in the village in the land records!  Now she is the proud owner of 0.68.99 hectare (almost 1.5 acre) land. While she owns this land, she was still concerned that people will try to take advantage of her illiteracy and her vulnerability. She says ““I am not literate, but I have enrolled names of my children in the land records in order to avoid any fraud regarding ownership of land with them.” !

As Bhanu’s association continued with the Swa Bhoomi Kendra(SBK), she also started to claim for her entitlements from the Government. Started with social security scheme for widows, the SBK enabled her to claim entitlements for enhancing productivity of her land: Bhanu accessed 25 pipes for irrigation; and an agriculture kit from the Department of Agriculture. Finally, by her own efforts, she constructed a toilet near her house under the Swachchh Bharat Mission.

 

Bhanu says, “After getting in touch with the SBK, I learned that chemicals fertilizers and pesticides are harmful to the land, human health and the environment. Therefore, I decided to adopt organic farming. I started using vermi compost and amrutpani (one type of biofertiliser) in my entire farm. That has made my produce and my soil better. While, many times, I still do feel lonely when my relatives do not help in getting a better education for my children and a better livelihood for all of us. But I now I know how to budget and I have my land title. I feel I can do everything.”

 

Link (Bhanuben) to the post is http://bit.ly/2psn8Ka



[1] Para Legal Workers are trained centrally by “Working Group for Women and Land ownership (WGWLO)”, a network of  more than 40 CSOs working on the issue of women’s land ownership,  issues of women farmers  and motivating them to organic farming. HDRC is a member of WGWLO.