Land for ladiesby The Daily Eye Team July 7 2014, 7:57 am Estimated Reading Time: 1 min, 9 secs
Breaking the stereotype of rural women, 39-year-old Suresho Saini proudly drives a tractor to plough 1.6 hectares (ha) of agricultural land in Rahimpur village in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district. The plot belongs exclusively to her. “Women working in agricultural fields are a common sight in India; yet when we think of a farmer, we always think of a man. Even our imagination is biased. Why?” she asks, showing her disapproval of the prevalent patriarchal mindset. To justify, she recalls an incident in 2009. “When I had applied for a Kisan Credit Card, the officials concerned demanded that I bring my husband along. I was very angry. ‘You never asked for me when my husband was getting his card; so why do you want him to be present in my case?’ I retorted.” She got the card and has since taken loan on it twice for agricultural purpose. Women from villages across Uttar Pradesh are now joining hands to eliminate the gender bias in agriculture and to demand joint ownership of land. They have organised their cause into a movement to empower themselves. In February this year, thousands of women participated in a march called “Gram Sabha to Vidhan Sabha” and reached Lucknow, demanding the inclusion of their names in government records as co-owners of their family’s ancestral land.