The Rural Development Institute in West Bengal

Current Activities

  • The West Bengal government’s primary partnership with RDI is to scale and improve land rights programs for the poor through research, legal consulting and advocacy.
  • The government partners with RDI, which conducts field research to help field realities gain program attention at state and district levels and measures the benefits, costs, and risks of allocating homestead plots to women agricultural labourers and their families.
  • The state receives assistance from RDI with monitoring of the pilot homestead plot distribution program.
  • West Bengal and RDI bring together girls and boys for community conversations to discuss girls’ rights to land and assets.
  • In Partnership with the government, RDI is advocating for asset creation for daughters.  These Programs work at the community level to instill the values and attitudes needed for fostering gender equality.

READ: Kalpana’s story; A small plot of land changes a 14-year-old’s destiny.

West Bengal was one of RDI’s initial focus states in India, with a 500-household survey done to determine the benefits of homestead plots for the rural poor. An initial pilot that was launched in 2009, at the behest of the government in the district of Cooch Behar, to test programme reforms and demonstrate mission effectiveness, is now being scaled up across the state in partnership with RDI. Since then, RDI has worked closely with the state government to srengthen and scale up the state’s flagship land allotment initiative.