In India, land is precious because people's lives and identity are closely attached to the land they own. However, it is very difficult for citizens to reclaim land once taken or encroached upon. This is even more so for some of the most vulnerable and marginalised people, such as the tribal community of Sahariya in Lalitpur district of Uttar Pradesh. In the village of Paron, there were some Sahariya families who had been given a few acres of land many years ago by the government. This land was leased to them to grow crops for their families. However, the demarcation boundaries for this land were unclear and it was not fertile. Therefore, these families rarely used this land as it did not provide enough food for their families, so they had to migrate to nearby towns in search of a livelihood. When the Indian government’s Forest Department officials surveyed this land, they thought it was forest land and tried to mark its boundaries as such. The families felt helpless to reclaim it due to prevailing circumstances.
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