Partnerships Progress in Andhra PradeshWoman holding land title in Andhra Pradhesh, India

Poor rural families in Andhra Pradesh, India are often kept poor because they don’t have secure title to the land they currently till, even though in some cases their family has tilled the same field for generations.

Landesa’s  partner in India, the Rural Development Institute (RDI), the Andhra Pradesh Mahila Samatha Society (APMSS), a Government of India Project and the State Government Revenue Department of Andhra Pradesh have collaborated to help these families gain secure title and the opportunity for a better future.

RDI facilitated a meeting last month to bring the two partners, APMSS team and the Andhra Pradesh Revenue Department together to work on land issues in Adoni Division of Kurnool District. Twelve trained paralegals of APMSS and 17 local officials participated in the meeting including the Revenue Divisional Officer in charge of issuing legal land titles, known as pattas.

Outcomes from the meeting include a commitment by the Revenue Divisional Officer, Adoni Division of Kurnool district to review land cases and issue patta land title deeds for poor people. The paralegals committed to documenting those in need and bringing their cases to the Revenue Divisional Officer. RDI has trained 290 paralegals from APMSS so far, with a plan to train a total of 430. By the end of March 2012, an estimated 500 people will receive legal aid from these trained paralegals and their local government partners.

Since allocation and regulation of land fall under the jurisdiction of State Governments, RDI’s partnerships with government departments and relationships with their staff are essential to developing pro-poor land reform. The partnership with the revenue departments in particular is essential for securing land rights for the poor because this department of the government regulates revenue laws, land records and issues land titles.

Similar meetings are planned in Ananthapur and Nalgonda districts of the state in July.