Women and youth protests revert land dispossession by the State

In September 2012, the Government of Gujarat announced the creation of the Mandal Becharaji Special Investment Region (MB SIR). By covering 44 agricultural villages, the project would have caused the loss of livelihood to 60,000 people dependent on land. Two civil society organisations joined forces to alert the affected communities. Pressed by 100 days of unrelenting mobilization, the Government of Gujarat eventually withdrew 36 villages from the MB SIR. The case highlights the crucial role of women and youth in land rights struggles.

Photo: Women shout slogans during a protest rally in Gandhinagar on 18 June 2013. The protesters, mainly farmers, were protesting against the Gujarat government’s decision to develop Mandal-Becharaji as a Special Investment Region (SIR). The banner reads: “Remove SIR, save villages.” Credit: Ajit Solanki/AP