DURATION   April 2015 to March 2016
LOCATION   District Jamshoro, Sanghar & Badin
FUNDING AGENCY   National Endowment for Democracy (NED)
BACKGROUND OF THE PROJECT / PROJECT AREA / NEEDS AND JUSTIFICATION Agriculture contributes 70% in Pakistan’s economy, beside this peasants conditions gone worst to worsen.  Since many decades peasants are victimized by the fiefs and deprived of their fundamental rights. Government of Pakistan not taking any measures to enshrine the rights of peasants’, with the support of bureaucracy feudal are violating rights of peasants since independence.  In Sindh feudalism crossing all limits of iniquity, and peasants’ are surviving as minion. More than 30% of the land is tenanted and more than 60% of land is in sharecropping of Sindh. Agriculture of Sindh contributes about 35% production and contributes 40% in GDP of Pakistan.

During the tenure of CEP project of NED, community and notables demanded to establish Peasant Courts. The public opinion was that Peasant Courts should be established by the government to protect the rights of Peasant’s. Owing to political backing Assistant Commissioners of Districts declares cases of peasants’ in a favor of feudal. Currently, Local bureaucracy tier namely Assistant Commissioner at Taluka level look after peasants issues and establish tenancy court temporarily.  In this broken system of justice peasants’ not getting justice thousands of cases are pending of peasants’ against the feudal in a Tribunal of Assistant Commissioner. The establishment of peasant courts will help to make justice with the victims; the courts should be established in same structure as of Labor Courts. The peasant courts must be fully powered and authorized without any political pressure to make fair and just decision.

Sindh Tenancy Act passed by Sindh Assembly in 1950, for the provision of facilities and to shield the rights of peasants’. Since six decades implementation of Sindh Tenancy Act is ineffective owing to feudal-political nexus, peasants are deprived of their fundamental rights despite of Act is present. Majority of feudal are members of Sindh Assembly, Amendments made in the Sindh Tenancy Act in 2010/2013 by Provincial Government as per their comfort. Under the Community Empowerment Project it is also demanded that Sindh Tenancy Act should be implemented in the province, and amendments should be made in Act with consent of public and civil society.  Through implementation of Sindh Tenancy Act peasants get their fundamental rights and move ahead for the prosper society of Pakistan.

Pakistan’s 80% rural women are engaged in agriculture, peasant women works for the whole in the fields. More than half of rural women engaged in picking cotton from cotton fields and others harvest rest of crops, peasant women also involved in threshing, drying and grinding of the crops.  In Sindh Tenancy Act women has right to hold a land in her name, but in Pakistan especially in Sindh rare cases of women landowners found. Majority, feudal exploited rights of peasant women, in rural areas old tribal system exits and women remained the victim of that system. Hundreds of cases reported of forced marriages, rapes and honor killing by feudal of peasant women. It was observed during the tenure of project that, women of peasant group is deprived of their social rights on the basis of gender. Communities and civil society also demanded that plan a series of activities to enshrine the rights of peasant women.  This project proposal documented, keeping in view demands and opinions of civil society and communities.
  • To strengthen the organizational and management capacity of local communities in Sindh and empower them to work to protect their livelihoods and rights.
  • To improve the responsiveness and accountability of government and landowners on a wide array of issues impacting the livelihoods of landless peasants at the local and national levels.
  • Grassroots community empowerment through peasant community organizations.
  • Increased community moblization and sensitization in relation with protection of their rights and livelihoods.
  • Enhanced capacity and awareness of women groups with regards to peasants and land rights.
  • Strengthened out-reach of peasant groups to media and general public.
  • Awareness as regards agrarian reform through public actions.
  • Enhanced awareness in relation with Sindh tenancy Act and land reforms.
  • Public actions for the establishment of Hari Courts.
  • Public awareness though IEC material focusing Sindh Tenancy Act and land reforms.
  • Increased advocacy and lobbying with government officials.
  • Number of local projects implemented
  • Favorable changes in government policy enacted.
  • Training of woman group on peasants and land rights.
  • Training on leadership and Organizational structure for district office bearers.
  • Two days Training on tenancy act 1950.
  • Media Visit, Workshop with Media personals and Photo exhibition on the issues of Peasants.
  • Awareness raising meetings on Agrarian and land reforms.
  • Awareness raising meetings on Sindh Tenancy act.
  • Awareness meetings on Peasants Rights.
  • Advocacy, networking and development of IEC material
  • Bone fire-Kachhahri.
DETAILS BENEFICIARIES COVERED Total 4924 (M-3061, F-1863) covered in 47 villages of three districts of Sindh.