Andhra Pradesh

Goal

Transform 100,000 poor landlesss rural families into landowners, and ensure that the 600,000 families who live on communally-owned land in the state are granted ownership to individual plots. Improve economic opportunity and gender equality through more equitable land rights.

Our Progress

280,000 formerly poor landless families have become landowners in Andhra Pradesh. Landesa and its partners also successfully organized a national conference on “Legal Aid to Secure Land Rights to the Rural Poor: Role of Government, LSAs, NGOs and Paralegals.”

Landesa’s Current Activities

  • Landesa and its partners are improving and expanding the paralegal program that helps poor families obtain land rights to the land they currently reside on. Once they become landowners, they can invest in their future and access government services to pull themselves out of poverty.
  • State officials are working with Landesa to revise tenancy laws to allow women to lease agricultural land. Research shows that the state’s current restrictive tenancy legislation both reduces agricultural efficiency and restricts land access for the poor.
  • Landesa continues to study the needs of Andhra Pradesh’s poorest citizens, including tribal groups, and make recommendations for sustainable solutions.
  • Landesa and its partners continue to train Community Resource Persons, who help identify the poor and landless in their own communities and help them with initial applications to government programs. These local field assistants are cost-effective and have deep knowledge of the community, which allows our partners to expedite the work and bring it to scale quickly.
  • Landesa provides research for a local television program produced by HMTV called Bhoomi Kosam (meaning “of the land” in Hindi) provides legal literacy to the state. It has been running since 2011 and has an average viewership of 60,000 people. The format is a call-in show where people can ask questions related to land rights.

History

The innovative Community Resource Person model, first developed by government officials in Andhra Pradesh, provides quick and low-cost implementation of legal aid work and has become a model for land distribution programs in other Indian states. Known as the “rice bowl of India,” Andhra Pradesh is one of India’s poorest states. Almost half the population lives in poverty and almost half the children of Andhra Pradesh are malnourished.