Poverty is not merely absence of money or assets, but most fundamentally, poverty is a consequence of the inability of capitalise whatever asset people may have, because of lack of formal title, and the high transaction cost.

Recognition and protection of property rights lie at the foundation of a free society. Property rights allows the development of market economy. With the spread of ownership of assets, people develop a stake in their community, and become active citizens. At the early stages of socio-economic development, land is the principal form of property.

For over a century, millions of Indians, largely indigenous tribes and others living in forest areas, have not had their land rights recognised by the state. A new law in 2006, acknowledges this historical injustice, and seeks to recognise the land rights of these remote and poor communities.

ARCH Vahini, a grassroots NGO based in Gujarat, and Liberty Institute, a think tank based in New Delhi, are working together to help these remote communities document and map their land claims.

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What is the problem?

Even after being granted the right to own the land they had farmed when the Forest Rights Act was passed into law, the majority of the villagers’ claims have been rejected. Out of 180,000 claims filed in rural Gujarat, only 50,000 were approved.

What we're doing

In addition to spreading awareness of their rights, we help tribal communities prepare and substantiate claims for their traditional land, using simple hand-held GPS instruments to survey their holdings, and map these onto satellite imagery. Done properly about 90% of the claims are approved.

How you can help!

Funding is needed to buy more GPS instruments, upgrade to a GIS web platform, and to enable us to reach out and train more communities. Each activity has a long-term effect: the GPS instruments are used village after village, the web platform accumulates a growing volume of villagers’ data, and training community leaders in one area enables them to go on to train others in surrounding village.

 

 

Recent Events

Sep 21-22 Workshop on Forest Rights Act — Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

Sep 21-22 Workshop on Forest Rights Act — Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

Workshop on Forest Rights Act Strengthening the Gram Sabha www.RighttoProperty.org 21-22 September2013 Patmada , East Singhbhum, Jharkhand Organised by ARCH Vahini & Liberty Institute with the support of Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom 21 September 2013 • 10 am -12.30 pm: Field visit and demonstration of use of GPS at Sootriuli Dangar village, near Jamshedpur • 3 pm – 4 pm: Introduction and demonstration of www.RighttoProperty.org • 4 pm – 5 pm: Essentials of FRA, and the challenges • 6 pm – 8pm: Sharing of Experience regarding implementation of FRA 22 September 2013 • 9.30 am- 12 noon: Role of Gram Sabha in FRA • 2 pm – 4 pm: Strengthening the Gram Sabha • 4 pm – 5 pm: Conclusion Contact details: Coordinator: Arvind Anjum, Jamshedpur Mobile: +91-94311 13667 Email: arvindanjum5@gmail.com ARCH Vahini, Baroda Email: m_ambrish@hotmail.com Website: www.archgujarat.org Liberty Institute, New Delhi Email: info@righttoproperty.org , barun@libertyinstitute.org.in, Tel: +91-11-28031309 Websites: www.InDefenceofLiberty.org | www.EmpoweringIndia.org |...
Sep 16-17 Gaya, Bihar – Workshop on Land Rights under the Forest Rights Act

Sep 16-17 Gaya, Bihar – Workshop on Land Rights under the Forest Rights Act

Property Rights For the Poor and the Forest Right Act 16 & 17 September, 2013 at Jeevan Sangham, Bodhgaya, Bihar Workshop organised by ARCH Vahini, Gujarat; Janmukti Vimarsh, Bihar & Liberty Institute, New Delhi with the support of Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Tentative Program: 16 September 2013 10.30 – 11.30 am: Inaugural Session Welcome by C. A. Priyadarshi & Banarsi Alam Inaugural Comments by Barun Mitra & Trupti Parekh 11.45 am – 2.00 pm: Session I Land Rights and Property Rights (What is the Meaning) for the Poor 2 pm to 3 pm: Lunch 4 pm to 6.30pm: Session II Land Rights and Property Rights to the poor: Understanding the issues and future course of action Concluding Remarks by Ambrish Mehta 7 pm – 9pm: Session III Cultural Programme by Banarsi & Team 17 September 2013 9.00am to 12 noon: Session IV Forest Right Act: The challenges and way ahead Presentations by A. Mehta, Manoj Kumar Babulal, Albela, KailashBharti, and Trupti Mehta Round Table Discussion 1 pm – 2 pm: Lunch 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm: Session V Demonstration of technique: Claim process of the forest right (Venue village Somia-Kevalia). Solidarity address: the village representatives share their experiences Vote of thanks: Kailash Bharti, President, Mazdoor Kisan samiti Contact Persons: Janmukti Vimarsh: Priyadarshi Ashok 09431077343, Ms. Poonam 09334269794, Kailash Bharti 09939376968, Jeevan Sangham 09431051659 ARCH Vahini, Baroda Email: m_ambrish@hotmail.com Website: www.archgujarat.org Liberty Institute, New Delhi Email: info@righttoproperty.org , barun@libertyinstitute.org.in, Tel: +91-11-28031309 Websites: www.InDefenceofLiberty.org | www.EmpoweringIndia.org |...
Aug 24-25 Sheopur, Madhya Pradesh – Workshop on Land Rights under the Forest Rights Act

Aug 24-25 Sheopur, Madhya Pradesh – Workshop on Land Rights under the Forest Rights Act

Event Details Location: Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh Venue: Eco-Centre of the Forest Department Date: Aug 24-25 Attendees: Roughly 70; district- and block-level officials, field staff of the forest dept., village representatives from panchayat We have just held a very successful workshop on the Forest Rights Act (FRA) in the Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh. Sheopur is about 400 km south west of Delhi, on the border of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The Sheopur district was created in 1999, by separating it from the Morena district. In 2006, Sheopur was among the 250 most backward districts in India. The district covers about 6,600 sq km, and over 60% of the land area is classified as forest. The district contains the Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary, with a total area of 345 sq km, of which about 31 sq km is revenue land. The district has some of the poorest communities in the country including a large tribal population. It is home to the Sahariya tribe, which is classified as a Primitive Tribal Group and is one of the most backward tribal groups in India. The 2011 Census puts the population at 687,000, and 84% of the people live in the 587 villages. The tribal population is estimated at 140,000, about 21% of the total, and 98% of whom belong to the Sahariya tribe. On Aug 24, 2013 we visited one such hamlet, Hanumankheda, barely 10 km from the district headquarter of Sheopur. For at least a couple of kilometres around this area, there was hardly a tree standing, let alone any trace of forest. The soil was rocky, and land was...
Jul 13: Consultation on Land Rights: Implementation of FRA in West Bengal

Jul 13: Consultation on Land Rights: Implementation of FRA in West Bengal

Liberty Institute is organising a half-day consultation to review the progress of the Forest Rights Act in the state of West Bengal. The objective is to generate awareness about land and property rights, and explore the implications of recognising the land rights of communities living in and around forest areas for generations. The goal of this round of discussion is to identify grassroots organisations and active citizens, who may be interested in helping the communities document their land claims. The discussion is to be held on July 13, 2013, at the Academy of Fine Arts in...

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