Marching ahead

 
Published: Wednesday 31 October 2001

ekta parishad , a national-level people's organisation, recently coordinated a 500-km march called Bihar Padyatra. The march aims at generating awareness and to initiate government participation to bring forth land reforms in Bihar. Although Bihar was one of the first states to enact the Land Reforms Act, with more than 1.8 million people in the state being landless, its condition is worse than most of the states in the country. The march, which began on September 12, 2001, will travel through many villages and end on October 12, 2001. During the padyatra , jan sunwai (public hearing) have been organised in several villages where people gather and talk about their problems. "The padyatra has become a tool to bring the issue of land reforms to the fore," said Aanchal Kapoor, team leader of Kriti, a New Delhi-based organisation. One of the main proposals that has came out of the padyatra is to initiate a nationwide debate on the right to land, water and forest. Moreover, the partcipants also demand that the government should form a task force to undertake land reforms.

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