Members of Ekta Parishad, a group working for social and land reforms in the country, demanded, on October 9, 2018 that the government ensures the passage of the Homestead Land Bill (2013) and the Women and Farmers Bill (2010), at the earliest. The Homestead Land Bill aims to ensure that “Every shelterless poor family has a right to hold homestead of not less than 10 cents Within a period of 10 years, commencing from the date of notification”.
The Women and Farmers Bill has a provision, to allow women to receive financial support for agricultural activities. It holds good, only when women farmers have entitlement to land. Addressing a press conference, Shradha Kashyap, a member of the group said, “We want that the government of India follows through with their commitments, to address the Homestead Land Act (2013) and the Women and Farmers Bill (2010) at the earliest.” Kasturi Patel from Meihar in Madhya Pradesh, who works for tribals in Bundelkhand said, “Women need to negotiate bank loans, interact with those in the mandi panchayats or gain membership in farmer and producer organisations.”
On the relation between land acquisition and violence, Manju Dungdung, another member of the group, said, “Women who gain land ownership and have their own name on the land titles, face less violence.” Shobha Tiwari, who also participated in a 45-day women’s yatra across the country, emphasised that women are acquiring land title under the Forest Rights Act, 2007 but ‘only a few of the women on the march had received it’.