सीधे मुख्य सामग्री पर जाएं

Whither empowerment? Failure to make Gujarat women rightful owners of land

By Rajiv Shah 
A recent study, “Contextualizing Women’s Rights and Entitlements to Land: Insights from Gujarat”, by Meera Velayudhan, senior policy analyst, Centre for Environment and Social Research, published in “Social Change”, a Sage Publication, has said that lack of asset ownership has curtailed women‘s bargaining power in Gujarat, even as depriving them from the benefits of development programmes. This deprivation, it points out, is particularly evident when government schemes for development of land are scrutinized. “These schemes relate to irrigation, land development (watershed) or agricultural credit where possession of land is mandatory”, it says, citing the instance of a survey in Ahmedabad of a lift irrigation scheme requiring an average investment of Rs 12,000 to Rs 18,000, which revealed that 100 per cent beneficiaries in six schemes were men.
The study underlines, “Since women lacked ownership of land in their namesake they are unable to gain benefits a major part of their expenditure. This is compounded by the fact that a gender based classification is not maintained by government departments. Even where the government promotes a group approach for building and managing assets at village levels such as user groups for check-dam lift irrigation societies and canal irrigation societies, a precondition for membership to these groups is ownership of land. Lacking land titles, women are unable to participate in their meetings or cast their votes because land ownership is a prerequisite for the membership of piyat khedut mandali (farmers’ irrigation society). Therefore, women are deprived of a role in decision-making processes at village level.”
The study finds women of backward communities to particularly vulnerable. “Women from the pastoral communities, Maldharis, are losing many of their traditional skills which not only enabled their control over resources but also contributed towards regeneration of pastures and grasslands. They face the brunt of severe hardships and insecurities owing to migration, debt and lack of livelihood sources”, the study says, giving the instance of how in 2010 forced migration took place of 100 Maldhali families from Zinzinwada village in Surendranagar district owing to harassment and atrocities by upper caste Darbars, in particular sexual and physical abuse of Maldhari women. “An increasing number of Maldhari women are working as domestic workers cities such as Ahmedabad. Also, depleting pastureland means lack of fuel and fodder which now have to be purchased from the market and also add to the women’s domestic burdens”, the study adds.
The way the implementation of land reforms in Gujarat has been carried out indicates, according to the study, “that not more than 35 per cent of households have actual possession and cultivate land while only 2-3 per cent land has been re-distributed among single women, mainly widows”. Worse, the women who own land “face stiff opposition from upper caste landed interests and others and in addition lack technical and other support, particularly from the state.” A survey by the Behavioral Science Centre, Ahmedabad, on the Land Ceiling Act covering three blocks of Banaskantha district showed that 213 families have been given land. “However, these are not in joint names of spouses, as per a Government Regulation of 1989. Instead, ‘family’ was seen as the unit of resource allocation, titles were given to individual men, perceived to be heads of the household”, the study points out.
Coming to the tribal areas, the study says, there are innumerable cases of widows being branded as witches (dakan) to take away their property. Unmarried daughters are given land by parents, but the land given is often less than that given to sons. Kinship systems and varied cultural notions of ‘family’ also define vulnerabilities among women. The study cites a survey by Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) in 25 villages of Mandvi block which identified 309 widows in 25 villages, pointing to the impact of changing family structures on adivasi women’s entitlements. “While community support systems were on the decline the perception of male being the head of the family and providing support had yet to take strong roots. The decision on women entitlements to assets (land and other forms of property) were mainly left to the community’s traditional decision making bodies — the punch (mainly male) and to local practices”, the study points out.
Further, the study says, in many areas, varsai, or inheritance, has not been conducted for up to two or three generations and cases of corruption by revenue officials are evident, depriving widows and other single women in particular of their due share in land. “Fewer women participate in gram sabhas and hence there is a lack of awareness about procedures for regularizing forest land. In many areas, varsais have not been conducted for up to two or three generations and cases of corruption by revenue officials are evident, depriving widows and other single women in particular of their due share in land. Fewer women participate in gram sabhas and hence there is a lack of awareness about procedures for regularizing forest land”, the study says.
Women’s efforts to take control of and save environment have also not been easy, the study suggests. The Tree Growers Cooperative formed by women, supported by NGO Mahiti, demanded 1,000 hectares of coastal land from government to grow piloo trees and rejuvenate mangroves. “The entire process of filing the application took three years. The application lies with the government and the delay is linked to the Kalpasar project for which land is reserved in the Bay of Kharnbhatt. The struggle of women continues in Dholera, which is now part of Special Investment Region (SIR) spread over an area of 87,933.77 hectares”, the study says, adding, “The trend in industrial development in Gujarat has shifted from industrial clusters to SEZ and SIRs and supported by Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC), a central government proposal, With the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor touching 18 of the 26 districts of Gujarat, these areas are the main drivers of land acquisition in Gujarat.”
The study believes that a major impact of commercialisation is that cash earned always goes to the hands of men folk, who generally they spend it for their own indulgences. “We have innumerous cases where earnings from jira (cumin) is used to redeem debt or could be used for purchase property (which is in the name of men) bikes, jeeps, putting money in banks, purchasing of ornaments etc. Women feel that commercialisation has increased disparity within the household. Women are no longer involved in the decision making process and are excluded from benefits ultimately”, says the study.
Gujarat is known for its ‘silver corridor’, an industrial belt from Saurashtra to central Gujarat and golden corridor, in western Gujarat, where 20 per cent of total land is proposed to be used for industrial purpose. While all this has to displacement of families, changes in land use pattern impact livelihoods of women, with compensation packages that do not give any explicit entitlements to women. The situation is particularly full of concern for women, who, according to a Working Group for Women and Land Ownership (WGWLO) survey covering 11 districts and 23 villages in Gujarat, own 11.8 per cent of women owned land. What particularly makes these women vulnerable is the fact that, out of this, 47.3 per cent are widows — “suggesting that it is only after widowhood that women hold land ownership”, the study says.
Yet, the fact is, the study emphasizes, property and asset ownership by mothers has led to better outcomes for survival education and health of children than assets owned by fathers. This is evident from a research on marginal farmer households in Kerala, which, says, the study, shows that “the mother’s cultivation of a home garden (the output which she controlled) had a consistently positive effect on child nutrition. Access to and control over productive assets such as land can strengthen women’s ability to manage economic shocks and social risks. Land is a particularly critical resource for women when the household breaks down in cases of male migration, want abandonment, violence, divorce, polygamous relationships, illness (such as HIV/AIDS) or death. Secure property rights can also help women avoid mitigate the impacts of violence, in particular domestic violence.”

टिप्पणियाँ

ट्रेंडिंग

हिंदी आलोचना जैसे पिछड़ चुके अनुशासन की जगह हिंदी वैचारिकी का विकास जरूरी

- प्रमोद रंजन*   भारतीय राजनीति में सांप्रदायिक व प्रतिक्रियावादी ताकतों को सत्ता तक पहुंचाने में हिंदी पट्टी का सबसे बड़ा योगदान है। इसका मुख्य कारण हिंदी-पट्टी में कार्यरत समाजवादी व जनपक्षधर हिरावल दस्ते का विचारहीन, अनैतिक और  प्रतिक्रियावादी होते जाना है। अगर हम उपरोक्त बातों को स्वीकार करते हैं, तो कुछ रोचक निष्कर्ष निकलते हैं। हिंदी-जनता और उसके हिरावल दस्ते को विचारहीन और प्रतिक्रियावादी बनने से रोकने की मुख्य ज़िम्मेदारी किसकी थी?

ગુજરાતના સ્થાપના દિવસે યાદ કરીએ ભારતના વિશ્વપ્રસિદ્ધ ગુજરાતી પુરાતત્વવિદ્ ને

- ગૌરાંગ જાની*  આજે કોઈ ગુજરાતી એ કલ્પના પણ ન કરી શકે કે વર્ષ ૧૮૩૯ માં જૂનાગઢમાં જન્મેલા એક ગુજરાતી વિશ્વ પ્રસિદ્ધ બની શકે! પણ આપણે એ ગુજરાતીને કદાચ વિસરી ગયા છીએ જેમણે ગિરનારના અશોક શિલાલેખને દોઢસો વર્ષ પૂર્વે ઉકેલી આપ્યો.આ વિદ્વાન એટલે ભગવાનલાલ ઈન્દ્રજી. ૭ નવેમ્બર, ૧૮૩૯ ના દિવસે જૂનાગઢના પ્રશ્નોરા નાગર બ્રાહ્મણ પરિવારમાં તેમનો જન્મ થયો હતો. જૂનાગઢના એ સમયે અંગ્રેજી શિક્ષણની સગવડ ન હોવાને કારણે તેમને અંગ્રેજી ભાષાનું જ્ઞાન ન હતું પણ પાછળથી તેમણે ખપ પૂરતું અંગ્રેજી જાણી લીધું હતું.

Under Modi, democracy is regressing and economy is also growing slowly

By Avyaan Sharma*   India is "the largest democracy in the world", but now its democracy is regressing and its economy is also growing slowly. What has PM Modi's ten years in power brought us? Unemployment remains high. Joblessness is particularly high among India's youth - with those aged 15 to 29 making up a staggering 83% of all unemployed people in India, according to the "India Employment Report 2024", published last month by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Institute of Human Development (IHD). The BJP-led government did not provide jobs to two crore youth in a year as was promised by Modi in the run up to the 2014 general elections.

नफरती बातें: मुसलमानों में असुरक्षा का भाव बढ़ रहा है, वे अपने मोहल्लों में सिमट रहे हैं

- राम पुनियानी*  भारत पर पिछले 10 सालों से हिन्दू राष्ट्रवादी भारतीय जनता पार्टी (भाजपा) राज कर रही है. भाजपा आरएसएस परिवार की सदस्य है और आरएसएस का लक्ष्य है हिन्दू राष्ट्र का निर्माण. आरएसएस से जुड़ी सैंकड़ों संस्थाएँ हैं. उसके लाखों, बल्कि शायद, करोड़ों स्वयंसेवक हैं. इसके अलावा कई हजार वरिष्ठ कार्यकर्ता हैं जिन्हें प्रचारक कहा जाता है. भाजपा के सत्ता में आने के बाद से आरएसएस दुगनी गति से हिन्दू राष्ट्र के निर्माण के अपने एजेण्डे को पूरा करने में जुट गया है. यदि भाजपा को चुनावों में लगातार सफलता हासिल हो रही है तो उसका कारण है देश में साम्प्रदायिकता और साम्प्रदायिक मुद्दों का बढ़ता बोलबाला. इनमें से कुछ हैं राम मंदिर, गौमांस और गोवध एवं लव जिहाद. 

Laxmanpur Bathe massacre: Perfect example of proto-fascist Brahmanical social order

By Harsh Thakor  The massacre at Laxmanpur-Bathe of Jehanabad in Bihar on the night of 1 December in 1997 was a landmark event with distinguishing features .The genocide rightly shook the conscience of the nation in the 50th year of Indian independence. The scale of the carnage was unparalleled in any caste massacre. It was a perfect manifestation of how in essence the so called neo-liberal state was in essence most autocratic. 

ભારતમાં જિસસ ક્રાઈસ્ટના દર્શન, ખ્રિસ્તી ધર્મના આગમનને કારણે સમાજ વ્યવસ્થામાં પરિવર્તન

- ઉત્તમ પરમાર  મારી કિશોર અવસ્થામાં કેટલાક ચિત્રો અને મૂર્તિઓએ હૃદયમાં એવું સ્થાન જમાવ્યું છે કે આજદિન પર્યંત  ઉત્તરોઉત્તર વિકસતું જ રહ્યું છે. પ્રેમ કરુણાના મૂર્તિમંત અવતાર  જિસસ ક્રાઈસ્ટને વધુસ્તંભે ચઢાવેલી મૂર્તિ  મારી કોઈપણ ધર્મ વિશેની સમજ નહોતી ત્યારથી મારા હૃદયમાં સ્થાપિત થયેલી છે. મારા ઘરની દિવાલ પર વધસ્તંભે ચઢેલા જીસસની પ્રતિમા જોઈને કોઈ મને પૂછી બેસતું કે તું ક્રિશ્ચન છે?

रैंकिंग: अधिकांश भारतीय विश्वविद्यालयों का स्तर बहुत गिरा, इस साल भी यह गिरवाट जारी

- प्रमोद रंजन*  अप्रैल, 2024 में भारतीय विश्वविद्यालयों की अंतर्राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर उच्च रैंकिंग की चर्चा रही। मीडिया ने इसका उत्सव मनाया। लेकिन स्थिति इसके विपरीत है। वैश्विक विश्वविद्यालय रैंकिग में अच्छा स्थान मिलने की खबरें, कुछ संस्थानों को इक्का-दुक्का विषयों में मिले रैंक के आधार पर चुनिंदा ढंग से प्रकाशित की गईं थीं। वास्तविकता यह है कि हाल के वर्षों में हमारे अधिकांश विश्वविद्यालयों का स्तर बहुत गिर गया है। इस साल भी यह गिरवाट जारी रही है।

नोएडा में मैन्युअल स्कैवेंजर्स की मौत: परिवारों को मुआवजा नहीं, प्राधिकरण ने एफआईआर नहीं की

- अरुण खोटे, संजीव कुमार*  गत एक सप्ताह में, उत्तर प्रदेश में सीवर/सेप्टि क टैंक सफाई कर्मियों की सफाई के दौरान सेप्टिक टैंक में मौत। 2 मई, 2024 को, लखनऊ के वज़ीरगजं क्षेत्र में एक सेवर लाइन की सफाई करते समय शोब्रान यादव, 56, और उनके पत्रु सशुील यादव, 28, घटुन से हुई मौत। एक और घटना 3 मई 2024 को नोएडा, सेक्टर 26 में एक घर में सेप्टि क टैंक को सफाई करते समय दो सफाई कर्मचर्मारी नूनी मडंल, 36 और कोकन मडंल जिसे तपन मडंल के नाम से जानते हैं, की मौत हो गई। ये सफाई कर्मचर्मारी बंगाल के मालदा जिले के निवासी थे और नोएडा सेक्टर 9 में रहते थे। कोकन मडंल अपनी पत्नी अनीता मडंल के साथ रहते थे। इनके तीन स्कूल जाने वाले बच्चे हैं जो बंगाल में रहते हैं। नूनी मडंल अपनी पत्नी लिलिका मडंल और अपने पत्रु सजुान के साथ किराए पर झग्गी में रहते थे। वे दैनिक मजदरूी और सफाई कर्मचर्मारी के रूप में काम करते थे।

प्राचीन भारत के लोकायत संप्रदाय ने कुछ परजीवियों की खूब खबर ली: प्रमुख प्रस्थापनायें

- राणा सिंह   भारत में परजीवियों का एक विशाल समूह है जो बोलता है कि “सब कुछ माया है”,  लेकिन व्यवहार में यह समूह सारी जिंदगी इसी “माया” के पीछे पागल रहता है।  प्राचीन भारत के लोकायत संप्रदाय ने इन परजीवियों की खूब खबर ली थी।

बिहार के ऐतिहासिक विक्रमशिला विश्वविद्यालय के खंडहरों की परिक्रमा का रोमांचक अवसर

- सुमन्त शरण  कुछ दिन पहले एक सुदूर ग्रामीण अंचल (पीरपैंती)  से तकरीबन डेढ़-दो घंटे की दूरी पर अवस्थित ऐतिहासिक बौद्ध विक्रमशिला विश्वविद्यालय (के अवशेषों) की परिक्रमा का अवसर मिला। विक्रमशीला विश्वविद्यालय की स्थापना पाल वंश के राजा धर्मपाल ने की थी। 8वीं शताब्दी से 12वीं शताब्दी के अंत तक यह विश्वविद्यालय भारत के प्रमुख शिक्षा केंद्रों में से एक हुआ करता था। कहा जाता है कि यह अपने कुछेक अत्यंत अनूठे नवाचार के चलते उस समय नालंदा विश्वविद्यालय का सबसे बड़ा प्रतिस्पर्धी था। हालांकि, मान्यता यह भी है कि अल्प अवधि के लिए दोनों विश्वविद्यालय के बीच शिक्षण एवं प्रबंधन के क्षेत्रों में घनिष्ठ पारस्परिक संबंध एवं शिक्षकों के आदान-प्रदान का सिलसिला भी रहा था। यह विश्वविद्यालय तंत्रशास्त्र की पढ़ाई के लिए सबसे ज्यादा विख्यात था। इस विषय का एक सबसे विख्यात छात्र अतीसा दीपनकरा था, जो बाद में तिब्बत जाकर बौद्ध हो गया। इसके प्रथम कुलपति ज्ञान अतिस थे।