*Ekta Parishad is a non-violent social movement founded by P.V. Rajagopal working on land and forest rights at a national level in India.
*A year-long Jan Satyagraha yatra starting from Kanyakumari Oct 2, 2011 - the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi - covered 352 of India's 640 districts before culminating Oct 2, 2012, at Gwalior.
*This was followed by a 350-km foot march to Delhi from Gwalior, which culminated mid-way in Agra Oct 11, after Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh signed an agreement.
*The government has agreed to bring a National Land Reforms Policy within six months in consultation with state governments and civil society groups.
*A task force, headed by Ramesh, will implement the other items on the agreement.
* A similar padayatra by Ekta Parishad five years ago resulted in the setting up of a National Land Reforms Council headed by the prime minister and including chief ministers. The body has not met even once.
* Ekta Parishad's website says: "Land reform - giving the poor access to land - is a 'game changer', that could bring 40 percent of the populace out of absolute poverty and reduce substantially the violence that is gripping Indian society."
Published Date: Oct 14, 2012 23:46 PM | Updated Date: Oct 14, 2012 23:46 PM