Home / Politics / Policy /  Campaign to demand land rights for Dalits

New Delhi: A group of non-governmental organizations working for greater land rights for Dalits will start a nationwide campaign seeking claims by an estimated 2.5 million landless Dalits for land. The initiative will be run under the banner of the National Alliance for Dalit Land Rights (NADLR).

“The campaign, which spans between 14 April to 6 December, will be spread across 300 districts in 18 states. We will be asking landless Dalits to make their claims for land," NADLR member Lalit Babar told journalists in New Delhi on Friday.

The group wants any such land allotments to be made to the women members of the families, he said.

While there have been several campaigns to reclaim land, there haven’t been any sustained rights movements to demand land for those with no ownership of it.

The group intends to make land rights a key electoral issue ahead of nearly 10 states going to polls for assembly elections and the general election scheduled for next year, said Ramesh Sharma of the Ekta Parishad, a non-profit. The alliance’s slogan will be, “First land, then vote. No land, no vote", he said.

Ekta Parishad is a Madhya Pradesh-based organization that works in the field of community-based governance and local self-reliance. In October, the Congress party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had promised Ekta Parishad a land reform policy that would give the poor the right to a patch of land for agriculture and housing, among other things.

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