For generations, this hamlet has been like any other in this poor corner of India.
Children here did not attend school, but worked alongside their parents in landowners’ fields. When those fields were fallow, the hamlet’s men left their families to look for work in the cities. The wages they brought home were never enough. Cheap rice and lentils filled cooking pots and bellies. Milk and meat were unobtainable luxuries. Alcohol took the edge off the men’s humiliation.
But on July 21st 2010, Kharibandha’s 11 families received something that changed this portrait of poverty. They each received a plot of land.
Though India’s road network hasn’t reach the hamlet of Kharibandha, Landesa’s land rights programs have.
In partnership with the state government of Odisha, Landesa’s homestead program provides micro-plots to poor landless families who are squatting on government-owned land. Our program brought representatives from various government agencies to the hamlet and ultimately each family received title to the small plot of land they had inhabited for generations.
These modest plots, just under 1/10th of an acre per family, are now providing the families with security.