Shyamal Kumar Jana is Landesa’s Program Manager based in Kolkata, India. Shyamal began working for Landesa in 2011.
What brought you to Landesa?
The first thing that impressed me about Landesa is that it partners with national and state governments to address the issue of rural landlessness—the key indicator of poverty. Secondly, Landesa’s focus is securing land rights of the rural poor with a focus on women’s land rights. Prior to joining Landesa, I worked with government and non-government organisations in the areas of rural development and local self-government, decentralized planning, land reforms, women’s empowerment, and rural livelihoods promotion for more than two decades.
What inspires your work?
I am highly inspired by the organization’s strategy of working with governments which we don’t see in most cases. The theory of change followed by Landesa is also a unique approach to sustain the work with transferred onus on government while scaling. Secondly, agriculture is the mainstay for the rural economy in India, and women’s secure land rights determine improved production and household food security. By working with Landesa, I have the opportunity to contribute to meeting the aspirations of rural people experiencing poverty and to enhance land’s productivity.
What work at Landesa makes you particularly proud?
Being a member of the Landesa global team, I am contributing to meeting the aspirations of rural people to enable them to come out of the cycle of poverty and to ensure women’s land rights with enhanced access to and control over land.
How do you spend your time when you’re not working?
I enjoy leisure time with my family members. I spend quality time reading biographies of eminent personalities, and land laws for updating myself and self-development. Besides, I engage myself in developing a database for use while advocating for and advancing Landesa’s vision and mission in securing land rights for the world’s poorest.
Describe your vision for a better world.
I always aspire for a world that would be free of gender-related discrimination in laws, customs, and practices which hinders women’s ability to access, control, own, and use land and limit their participation in decision-making and at all levels of land governance.