Jadawati Devi, 35, remembers the most difficult decision she and her husband had to make. They were landless, poor, unemployed, and without any job prospects.
To feed their family, they knew they had to migrate to find work. That required leaving their children behind with relatives.
Jadawati, who lives in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, remembers the anxiety-filled days separated from her children.
“Worrying about children and making a living, both are important. But, if you do not work, where will we get our daily bread?” she asks.
Jadawati travelled and found work where she could as an agricultural laborer on someone else’s land. The arrangement left Jadawati in an atmosphere of uncertainty, knowing the land owner could evict her at any time.
But her struggle came to an end when she received secure rights to land through a program in Uttar Pradesh supported by Landesa. She is the first in the family to own land.
“It will take me some time to get used to the idea that I own land,” she says. “It’s a nice feeling, but it is something many can’t even dream of.”
Jadawati and her husband are now planning to build their first home, along with a small kitchen garden on the plot of land. And she can care for her children once again.
“I’m very happy. This is lifelong security for me and my family. We can now save money and dream for a better future for our children as well.” says a smiling Jadawati.