More than 278,700 previously landless families in West Bengal have already received micro-plots. Working with more than a dozen different government agencies and programs, Landesa’s convergence model ensures that families’ new legal rights to their land prompts infrastructure investments, such as water, sanitation, and electricity service, from government agencies so that new landowners get the support they need to make the most of their land.
More than 48,000 girls are participating in a program with the Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare that teaches them gardening skills, nutritional information, and about their rights – including their right to one day own land.
Landesa’s Current Activities
Landesa’s work in West Bengal falls within two main activities:
Micro-plot program. This is the government of West Bengal’s flagship poverty alleviation program. Through the micro-plot program formerly landless poor women and men receive secure rights to a plot of land about the size of a tennis court. On this land they can build a home and establish a kitchen garden or rear livestock to improve family nutrition and income. Women’s names are included on the title to the plot and are generally listed first. We have a rigorous measurement and evaluation program that tracks the numbers of families who have received micro-plots of land, and are currently engaged in a robust research project to measure the impact of this intervention.
The Girls Project. Landesa partners with the Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare, Government of West Bengal on an innovative program that aims to reduce child marriage and boost nutrition in the short term and position girls to understand and enjoy their land rights in the long term. The program educates girls about their land rights and provides them with agricultural training
so they can effectively use the land. This program, in partnership with the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (SABLA) in Cooch Behar District, has helped more than 48,000 girls in more than 1,000 villages learn organic gardening skills and engaged hundreds of communities in discussions about girls’ vulnerabilities and needs. The girls have been able to use their skills to grow vegetables to feed their families and sell the excess vegetables to earn money for school fees on their family’s small plots. The project is being scaled to reach 1.25 million girls.
EXPLORE OUR WORK
Support the State of West Bengal’s efforts to provide an estimated 500,000 previously landless families with a micro-plot of land. In partnership with the state government, design and scale a program to keep girls in school and position them to enjoy land rights as adults.
Watch videos from the field:
- Watch Academy Award-winning filmmaker Megan Mylan’s short documentary film about the Girls project.