30 families cannot access basic amenities as they have not been allotted titles for the forest land they have been living on for 30 years. These families are completely dependent on the forest for their livelihood and as per Forest Rights Act, anyone who has been living and cultivating forest land prior to Dec 13 2005, can claim up to 4 hectares of land. Yet, no paperwork has been done by any authority including those who have taken money from the already marginalized community of Kabrabhut, Koderma.
" We’re extremely poor. But they tell us we’ll have to bear expenses to gain ownership of our land and we willingly give it to them with the hope that some day we’ll have a piece of land and some paperwork in our names. But nothing has happened so far."
While land rights provide families and communities with legal, food, livelihood, cultural, and social securities, the community's main concern remain a source of drinking water.
"Even the officials here know that we’re drinking dirty water from the sewer. We even offer them that water to drink. But they just don’t seem to understand… When they themselves don’t care about it, what can we tell them?"
Land rights are also important for economies as it is proven that countries that have invested in efficient and equitable land tenure administration have developed much faster and have a much higher level of food security, health and welfare. With a flourishing stone and mining industry, India’s ‘mica paradise’, the Koderma district in Jharkhand is known all over the world. But what’s most saddening is that the district block of Domchanch, where this industry is most prosperous, has not provided any prosperity for its own residents.
Correspondent Vinti Vishwakarma made this video to bring to light the fact that while on one hand the government continues to talk about development, on the other hand, despite being citizens of the country, these people are not able to avail of certain basic needs and amenities simply because they do not have land titles or deeds in their names. She is approaching the District Collector(DC) of Koderma with the community to implement the FRA and provide land titles to families residing in Kabrabhut, enabling them to avail basic facilities provided by the government itself.
While Vinti leads the battle on the ground to bring facilities to the community as soon as possible, you can be her wingman by creating pressure on the DC of Koderma to take quick action, by calling or texting on the number provided in the video.
Vinti Vishwakarma reports from Koderma district of Jharkhand, for IndiaUnheard.
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