For 92 landless tribal families from Korapot in Odisha, it was a day that marked beginning of a journey towards dignity and economic independence, as Governor Muralidhar Chandrakant Bhandare presented titles for homestead land. Though subdued in their responses, the sparkle in the eyes of those who got land gave away a story of hope.
Dressed in colourful traditional attire, the women are the first to receive titles under the Comprehensive Land Allocation and Development Programme that involves Community Resource Persons (CPRs), an idea pioneered and supported by Rural Development Institute (RDI), and Odisha Tribal Empowerment and Livelihood Programme (OTELP).
The families that got titles on March 4th 2012 are mostly from Paraja and Gadaba tribes from Katalaput, Charampi and Nandigaon villages of Nandapur Tahasil. This is expected to be follow-up with all the landless families in 244 villages getting secured land titles through the year.
The programme is being implemented in over 1,000 villages in seven districts since 2011. A mainstay of the programme is the involvement of CRPs or Bhoomi Sanjojaks.
These CRPs are trained on legal procedures laid down by the revenue department to provide land title to landless households. Drawn from the community itself they have a good understanding of the local dynamics and hence are able to get across to the landless households and win trust of revenue officials.
Since 2011 close to 540 Bhoomi Sanjojaks have been facilitating the process of land title allocation. This contributes towards translating land allocation agenda into actual titles for the poor in a time bound manner.
As per OTELP sources, the process of identifying beneficiaries has been completed in 866 villages. The number of landless households eligible to receive homestead titles or pattas now stands at 20,000. This will increase after survey of all the 1,042 villages is completed.