An article from The Hindu published on January 23rd, 2013, made a positive assessment about the National Consultation on Dalits land rights which took place in Delhi on January 21st and 22nd :
Equitable distribution of land demanded
Activists of Dalit land rights movements drafted the “Delhi Declaration” at a two-day national consultation which concluded here on Tuesday.
Organised by the National Federation of Dalit Land Rights Movement (NFDLRM) and ActionAid India, activists demanded equitable distribution of arable land especially for the landless and vulnerable communities. The activists claimed that they would file claims for 25 lakh Dalit women in the next year. The key demands which emerged out of the consultation included freeing of surplus land for distribution to Dalits from NRIs and corporations who do not use arable land for agriculture and protection of land ensuring that the houses of slum dwellers were registered in their own names.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh said he was putting all his efforts into ensuring that the agreement signed between his Ministry and Jan Satyagraha in October 2012 on land reforms will be implemented in its true spirit. He also assured that he will consider recommendations given by the alliance.
NFDLRM chairman Vincent Manoharan said: “It is good to see that a national-level alliance was built at this consultation. A greater challenge would be to create grassroots alliances. Land is a complex political issue and we must come together to raise it.”
Noting that land for the poor and excluded communities was not a commodity, Amar Jyoti Nayak, leader Land Rights Hub of ActionAid India, said it was an instrument of power, dignity and livelihood. “Dalits, tribals, women and other landless communities have a right over the land. This right must be recognised and ensured by the State.”
Check the article online here .