Bhoodaan means the donation of land . The Bhoodaan movement was a voluntary land reform movement initiated by Vinoba. He received  the first donation of land in Pochampally village of Telangana on 18th April, 1951. From there the Bhoodan yatra began. The basic thought behind it was that land is God’s property just like water, air and sunlight, thus it cannot be owned individually and should be accessible to all. 

Vinoba’s cousin brother Raghunath Bhave donated their family land in Gagode on 11 September, 1952 and initiated the Bhoodaan movement in the Raigad district. On 14th November, 1953, he again donated 67 acres of land. On 23 September 1954, land donated by Bhave family and other trustees of Janmasthan was distributed to tribals in Gagode and other nearby villages in the hands of the then chief minister, Balasaheb Kher. By 1970, the Sarvodayee workers received 3738 acres of land for Bhoodan in Raigad district. 

Gramdaan – involves the donation of an entire village into a collective ownership model. 

Vinoba received first gramdaan on May 1, 1952, of village Mangroth in U. P. Gramdaan is a step ahead of bhoodan taking the concept of ownership further into the village unit. Vinoba says further that, “As land is God’s creation, only God can have it’s ownership. We can be sons of land, servants of land, but how can we be the owners of land?” Bhoodan is a thought of equitable redistribution of land while Gramdaan is a thought of surrendering ownership of land.  

Surrendering ownership of land means, people give away their ownership to the village. The land remains with the same family for generations for cultivation but it cannot be sold by them. On 11 September 1963, the villagers of Gagode declared Gramdaan. The Sarvodayee workers walked across Raigad district spreading the message and received 131 villages in Gramdaan.  

Although at present the Bhoodan movement is no longer active, the concept of just and equitable distribution of land and the collective ownership of land is a visionary idea that is as relevant today as it was during Vinoba’s lifetime. Gagode is a living example and an experiment of this concept. The Janmasthan team continues to speak and promote the Bhoodan concept among people.

Artist: Ashwin Chikerur

About Gagode

Gagode village lies in the district of Raigad in the state of Maharashtra. Primarily an agricultural hamlet this village was rewarded to the ancestors of Vinoba Bhave. In 1954 the family offered it to the Bhoodan movement and in 1963 the village was declared as a Gramdaan village.


Gagode Bk. (Khalapur P., 18� 45′ N. 73� 10′ E.; p. 375) is the birth-place of Vinoba Bhave, the founder of Bhoodan movement. The room of the house in which he was born contains his bust. Gramkendra of Gandhi Sevak Samaj and Vinoba Bhave Ashram have been established here. Baburav Ahgre had given this village also in inam to the Rastes on account of the help they rendered to him. It was later made over by the Rastes to the Bhaves. The ‘Kalyan Khajina‘ which was in the pass to the south of this village was plundered at Saitan Maj by the forces of Shivaji under the command of Abaji Sondev

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