Voluntary Efforts in Land Reforms in India
Voluntary efforts by organisations were initially focussed on poverty alleviation. After the Bhoodan and Gramdan movements, voluntary organisations took up the issue of land reforms. They started working for the voluntary donation of land and its redistribution to the landless. The voluntary organisations have realized that land reforms core around which the whole issue of poverty removal and equality should revolve. This realization was confined to a minority, and did not gain general acceptance. After the passage of ceiling acts, acquiring land for redistribution was removed from the agenda issue for voluntary organisations. Instead, the focus shifted to securing rights to the tenants and landless by promoting the causes of land consolidation, identifying the beneficiaries for the programmes.
Other activities of the voluntary agencies are:
- Awareness generation among the peasants about the importance of the land reform and motivating them to initiate action against the violators of the laws.
- Distribution of pattas among the landless workers, who have not been covered under formal ownership rights.
- Providing legal assistance to the rural poor to deal with the legalities of land rights.
- Identification of the landless for purposes of redistribution of surplus land.
- Provision of training in agriculture and supplying of inputs like seeds, fertilizers and technology.
Whenever the government tries to initiate and implement a programme with the active cooperation of the peasants and voluntary organisations, such efforts be largely successful.