Location: Odisha, India
Profession: Farmer

Sixty two year old Labara Nayeeka’s ordeal started when she moved to her in-laws village as a newly-wed. Her husband’s family lived in a ramshackle thatched hut that did not offer much protection from the vagaries of weather. Without a piece of land of its own, the family worked as agricultural labourers.

The couple’s income depended on the whims and fancies of the land ownership and without a job card; she didn’t have access to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. Survival was difficult with low and uncertain income.

The uncertainty surrounding Labara’s life recently came to an end when she got a piece of homestead land measuring four decimals under the comprehensive land allocation programme run by the Odisha Tribal Empowerment and Livelihoods Programme’s (OTELP).

With support from OTELP in the form of saplings and technical know-how, Labara started her own backyard vegetable garden. She now has a home, food from her own garden, an identity which enables her to access various schemes including free education for her grandchildren. Life has indeed come full circle for Labara’s family.

Reflecting on the experience, Labara notes, “I could not provide education to my children as I had no residential proof. With the land documentation, at least my grandchildren are in school now.”

This story was submitted by NRMC and was originally published in ”Land answers the poverty question – Comprehensive Programme on Land to the Landless” published by Odisha Tribal Empowerment and Livelihoods Programme (OTELP) with the support of IFAD.