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It all begins with land

Imagine being forced to leave your home, with no recognition or compensation.

This was the situation faced by Buddhaji and Suman, and other members of the Katkari Indigenous community in western India.

Even though their community had lived and worked on the land for generations, they were not recognised as owning the land they farmed. This made them vulnerable to land grabs, and forced many families to leave their homes and seek work elsewhere.

With no home, no regular source of income and not enough to eat, children can’t go to school and families have little chance of breaking the cycle of poverty.


After a two-year struggle, Hira and Yashwant are now joint title holders of their property. Photo: Chris Johnson/OxfamAUS

What we’re doing

Oxfam Australia is helping people claim back their land and earn an income. Our local partners are providing farming support, such as seeds and essential tools and equipment, so families can grow food to eat, and earn an income by selling the surplus at the market. We are also supporting communities with legal advice about land rights, and assisting them in making claims to own their land.

Learning about their land rights has made an enormous difference to the lives of people like Yashwant and Hira. After a two-year struggle, they are now joint owners of their plot of land.


Find out more

Yashwant and Hira

From exploited agricultural labourers on someone else’s land, to land-owners with a thriving vegetable crop, Indian couple Yashwant and Hira can now look forward to a brighter, more secure future.

Balram and Seeta

In part two of our story series from India, we meet Balram and Seeta, whose lives have got a whole lot better since making a land claim and starting to work for themselves.

Tanaabai and Tukaram

With four adult children to support and seasonal farm work their only source of income, Tanaabai and Tukaram were doing it tough, until they learned about the Forest Rights Act.

Arun Shivkar, Director of SAKAV

In recent weeks, we’ve heard from poor Indian families about how Oxfam’s local partner SAKAV has helped them turn their lives around. Now it’s time for SAKAV’s director Arun Shivkar to tell his story.

Ambaji and Suman

With help from Indian organisation SAKAV, Suman and Ambaji have made major progress, cultivating so many veges that they can feed themselves and sell the rest for profit. Sure beats having to go to other villages every day to work!

Buddhaji and Suman

Having lived through land grabs when they were growing up, young Katkari couple Buddhaji and Suman are determined that their own children will have a better life.

Ganesh and Anusaya

Good riddance to underpaid farm labour! Young Katkari couple Ganesh and Anusaya are their own bosses now, and much happier as a result.

Women helping themselves: Gangabai

Living proof that there’s strength in numbers, women in rural India are joining self-help groups and gaining newfound confidence, agricultural skills and a supportive social network in the process. Gangabai tells us more.