Labourers turn land owners: A silent revolution

Written by Agencies | Porayar (TN), April 30: | Updated: Apr 30 2008, 21:14pm hrs
Over a 1,000 landless Dalit women agricultural labourers in Nagapattinam district have promptly repaid loans obtained in 2007-08 from the National Scheduled Caste Financial Development Corporation (NSFDC), New Delhi.

The 1,015 women handed over Rs 30 lakh to District Collector, Tenkasi Jawahar, who in turn provided them land pattas at a function on Wednesday.

An acre of land was given to each of the women under the initiative of Gandhian, Krishnammal Jagannathan, who acts as the secretary of Nagapattinam based Land for Tillers Movement (LAFTI).

NSFDC provided Rs 3.34 crore loan to purchase the land. THADCO gave a subsidy of Rs 1.51 crore and the beneficiaries had to repay Rs 1.83 crore. The women repaid Rs 30 lakh in July 2007 and another Rs 30 lakh on Tuesday.

Of the Rs 60 lakh paid so far, 100 women have fully repaid loans and got pattas from the Collector. Others have partially repaid loans and will continue to do so in instalments.

Handing over a cheque for Rs 30 lakh to the Collector, Krishnammal Jagannathan said LAFTI had told the women while they availed of loans that they would have to repay it. On LAFTI's appeal, the government had exempted these women from paying land registration expenses, she said.

The Gandhian leader has helped more than 12,000 Dalit women get one acre of land since 1992. Receiving the cheque, Jawahar appreciated the honesty of the women in repaying loans.

"Agricultural labourers have now become land owners. This is a silent revolution," he said.