In a milestone for rural families in Uttar Pradesh, India, local government officials distributed land titles to 331 formerly landless households in two villages in Mirzapur district.
On Aug. 27, land titles, or pattas, were distributed to 80 households in Sirsi, including eight titles to single women. The following week, 251 pattas were distributed to households in Karkad, including 16 to single women.
The public ceremonies were attended by a number of local leaders and officials.
“Public distribution of land titles improves transparency in the process, and ensures the participation of all stakeholders,” said Ishteyaq Ahamad, Landesa Field Support Officer, Mirzapur District.
In Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere, Landesa staff partner with local officials to extend land rights to formerly landless households. Significantly, Landesa advocates for women’s names to be listed on land titles, helping ensure that women enjoy the same rights and protections as men.
“Land titles in women’s names are far more than a source of subsistence,” said Abhiskek Gupta, Landesa’s District Program Manager in Mirzapur. “It improves their social status, changes the way people see them, and elevates their sense of value within their families, communities, and in society.”