The Greatest Predictor of Poverty in India is Landlessness
An estimated 18 million families in rural India are landless and tens of millions more have insecure rights to the land they rely on. Their long-term insecurity and inability to protect and secure the land they depend on is a major predictor of poverty, seeds conflict, and hinders economic growth.38 Since 2000, Landesa has been working to change this reality. By partnering with state and central government leaders, Landesa strives to create opportunity, incentive, and security through strengthening land rights. Landesa supports the creation of policies that strengthen girls and women’s land rights, raise legal awareness, and grant homestead and farmlands to rural women. By working with Indian state government officials and Central government leaders, Landesa has reached more than one million families.40 Increasingly, leaders in India’s poorest states are recognizing that insecure land tenure is a significant hurdle to development and stability. Already, the governments of Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh have launched programs to bolster women’s and girls’ land rights.