To Live Without Fear – Keta’s Story

Keta Guntha is beaming with a great sense of security. It’s a feeling she says she hasn’t known before, and it comes from a single piece of paper — legal title to the parcel of land that her family farms in the Indian state of Odisha.

For Keta, who lives with her husband and three children in Koraput District, life before receiving a land title was one of uncertainty. But that changed in 2012, when Keta received a land title, or patta, through a land allocation program by the state government of Odisha, in partnership with Landesa.

“Now that we have the title to our land, we have no fear of losing it anymore,” says Keta.

With documented land rights, Keta’s children were eligible for a free public education. Her daughters, Rashmita and Sasmita, are enrolled in primary school; her son, Jagdish, graduated from high school earlier this year.

Secure land rights also empowered Keta to make an investment in her land. She has grown 300 sweet corn plants, from seeds that she purchased for 180 rupees (about $3 USD). She sells her sweet corn at a nearby vegetable market, and expects to earn about 9,000 rupees ($130 USD) this season alone – a remarkable profit and a boon to her family’s income.

Keta and her family, holding the legal title to their farm.

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