BHUBANESWAR: Land rights experts and women activists and on Saturday strongly pitched for inclusion of single women in the ongoing enumeration of homestead-less families of the State. They also rued that clear lack of guidelines could become a major hurdle in identification of such women in the current exercise.
The Revenue and Disaster Management Department has asked all Collectors to complete the survey by August 10 so that homestead-less families in rural areas can be covered under various land schemes of the State Government.
At a state-level consultation here, they said, it is a challenging task to allot homestead land to single women but norms must be created for initiation of such an important move.
According to the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011, there are about 10.6 lakh women-headed households in the State out of which 43 per cent earn their income from manual causal labour. It also indicates prevalence of 36.19 per cent of landless households who derive a major part of their income from similar works.
“Law does not bar from giving land to women but traditional practices limit the scope of single women to access land rights,” said Prof Padmaja Mishra, Officer-on-Special Duty to Rama Devi Women’s University. The enumeration, third such exercise in the last decade, will be a challenge for the Government given the time frame, the participants felt.
Project Advisor, State Resource Centre for Women, Amrita Patel felt the exercise should be carried out as per State Girls and Women’s Policy.
Organised by Landesa, the consultation was participated by media representatives, academicians, lawyers and activists who said community youths and PRI members must be involved in the enumeration to strengthen the process.