15, June 2022

For many people in rural Bangladesh, agriculture and livestock rearing is the main source of livelihood. One such individual is Bindu, a resident of Ashulia, a suburban area of Dhaka. Bindu is the eldest of four daughters of an old livestock farmer who used to lease land from a local land-owner.

For Bindu’s family, making ends meet was a daily struggle. They owned a small cattle farm, but with so many mouths to feed, there was constant rationing and privation. What little they earned from the cattle farm barely covered their essentials, as most of it went to the landowner.

With Bindu’s aging father’s medical needs rising, they could not afford to keep paying the landowner so much money. However, without his land, they could not keep the cattle farm at all. Desperate to help her family get out of this stalemate, Bindu started seeking advice from anyone and everyone. Soon, she learned about the Government providing long-term leases for Khas Land. Khas land is the term used for unoccupied land owned by the Government. However, even that proved impossibly difficult.

“I was in despair. I did not know if I would be able to afford my sick father’s medical expenses and feed my family. It was made worse by my helplessness in navigating the complex and ambiguous application system; I knew that if I could just secure a lease of the Government Khas land on better terms, I would be able to take care of my family. I looked for a way to apply for a lease. But, without specific knowledge whichever government office I went to, I was bounced from desk to desk and office to office,” explained Bindu.

When Bindu finally almost resigned herself and her family to her fate, she heard of the myGov app from a visiting relative. In a last-ditch effort, she enlisted the help of her husband and digitally applied for the lease of non-agricultural Khas land using the myGov app.

“The concerned authorities accepted my application and informed me that my application is under consideration. Within a very short time, I was granted the lease at much better terms. After my tiresome manual experience with the process, I cannot believe how simple and accessible digitization has made the process. Thanks to myGov, I am now able to bear my father’s medical expenses, and put food on the table for my family,” says Bindu.

With the help of the myGov app, government officials are not only providing e-mutation and e-land services but also have been holding online hearings too. For millions like Bindu, the digitization of land services has been a saving grace.