West Bengal

 Goal

Support the State of West Bengal’s efforts to provide 500,000 previously landless families with a micro-plot of land.

Our Progress

More than 100,000 previously landless families in West Bengal have already received micro-plots over the last three years. Landesa has developed a model that gives the new landowning families the agricultural training and other support services they need to make the most of their new land. Working with more than a dozen different government agencies and programs, Landesa’s convergence model ensures families have the tools they need to succeed in their new home.

Landesa’s Current Activities

  • Landesa focuses on scaling access to secure land rights through the state’s flagship poverty alleviation program which distributes micro-plot  to the landless poor.
  • Landesa conducts field research to measures the benefits, costs, and risks of allocating micro-plots to women agricultural laborers and their families.
  • Landesa supports monitoring and evaluation of the micro-plot distribution program.
  • 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 trafficking by educating girls about their land rights and providing them with agricultural training. This program, in partnership with the the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (SABLA) in Cooch Behar District, has helped more than 40,000 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. | Fact sheet on Landesa’s Girls Project

Our History in West Bengal

Landesa’s work in West Bengal began  in 2001 with a 500-household survey to identify and understand the benefits of homestead plots for the rural poor.

Resources for The Girls Project

Links to select media articles on Landesa’s work in West Bengal

Delaying Early Marriage Through Sacks of Chilies | The Daily Beast | September 6, 2013

Girls Project: Helping Girls Transform their Future | O Magazine | by Sarah Engler | August 2013

Seattle- based nonprofit plants seeds of hope in India | The Seattle Times | Melissa Allison | March 16, 2013

About Landesa

Landesa partners with governments and local organizations to ensure that the world’s poorest families have secure rights over the land they till. Founded as the Rural Development Institute, Landesa has helped more than 100 million poor families gain legal control over their land since 1967. When families have secure rights to land, they can invest in their land to sustainably increase their harvest and reap the benefits – improved nutrition, health, and education – for generations.

For inquiries: InfoIndia@landesa.org