In 2015, 15 August marked a watershed moment for land reforms in Gujarat. At Santranpur district in Mahisagar, Chief Minister Anandiben Patel declared 193 Van Vashati (forest villages) as “revenue villages”. Initially land allotted to tribals under the Forest Rights Act, 2006, was still owned by the government. These reforms have sought to correct this discrepancy and ensure better use of the land for the tribals.
Key features of ‘Revenue Villages’
Names of villagers will be registered in the state’s revenue records. Villagers can now pass on their land to their heirs, apply for loans and apply for state benefits.
Tribal families can now sell their land to non-tribals, or use it themselves for any purpose other than agriculture.
New records will have names of both male and female heads of the family. If the husband dies, the wife won’t lose her land rights.
Villages covered by this scheme are in the forest areas of Surat, Tapi, Narmada, Bharuch, Dahod and Panchmahal.
CM initiates talks with tribals at Chhota Udepur
The two-day celebrations of the 56th Foundation Day of Gujarat were held at the newly formed Chotta Udepur district in April 2016. As part of the celebrations, Chief Minister Anandiben Patel initiated dialogue with the people of Pavi Jetpur taluka and Bodeli taluka. Patel in her address at Pavi Jetpur informed women about the various schemes implemented by the government for healthcare, education and economic empowerment of women. On the occasion, Patel distributed cheques for encouragement of Anganwadi official-helper women for performing well. She also distributed aid in the form of equipment to beneficiaries of the Gujarat government’s women-oriented schemes. Patel also appealed to the women of Chotta Udepur district to take a pledge to make Chotta Udepur the first district in the state with 100% house-toilet facilities. Commending the efforts of tribal women, the Chief Minister said that to ensure that the competence of such women contributes to the development of the state, the Gujarat government has established such an infrastructure of education that not even a single son/daughter of the state remains deprived of education.
The Chief Minister launched an e-book called Dikri Maro Ansh.. E Pan Maro Vansh on 29 March 2016 detailing the success stories of tribal women of the state who have achieved success by getting benefits of various welfare schemes of the state government. The e-book has been uploaded online on various websites, Facebook, slide share, and mobile apps for social media. Gujaratis across the world will be able read this e-book online.
Various women living in Surat, Bharuch, Valsad, Narmada, Navsari, Tapi and Dang districts of South Gujarat have become financially self-reliant by getting benefits of various women welfare schemes of the State Government. Out of them, the Chief Minister personally met as many as 300 rural women. The e-book contains success stories of the women who became financially independent with the help of various women welfare schemes such as Mission Mangalam Yojna, Animal Husbandry, Agriculture Assistance, Housing Scheme or the Garib Kalyan Yojna of the state. To inspire other women, these success stories would be uploaded by Shree Govardhannathji Bethak, Surat, at the international level through total five websites such as www.shrinathjiparebethakji.com, www.facebook.com, WEG (Women Empowerment in Gujarat), www.issue.com, www.gujaratinformation.net.