India’s forests are home to millions of people. Most are subsistence farmers, living off of the land and fishing in nearby waters. But in recent years, farmers were forced from their land and fields with little-to-no notice.
Lochana and her 10- and 16-year-old sons lived in one of these forests, far below the poverty line — on less than 40 cents a day. She fed her family by cultivating a one-acre plot of land.
In 2006, India passed the Forest Rights Act, recognizing the rights of forest-dwelling communities. The act allowed for the poorest of the poor to receive additional land, homes and other resources that had been denied to them for years.
But Lochana never heard about this act. In fact, neither did any of her neighbors. That’s when the church stepped in to help. Supported by your gifts to ELCA World Hunger, representatives from Lutheran World Service India Trust met with Lochana and her neighbors. They helped her understand her rights and complete applications to governmental programs.
Thanks to their help, Lochana and her family were awarded two acres of their own land. With additional funding, her new home is under construction and her future looks bright. “I am very happy,” she says.Download this story as a bulletin insert