Migration Narratives: The SHRAM Blog

It’s a routine strategy under distress: PANI

Migration is a routine livelihoods strategy adopted in India and not simply response to shocks. People certainly do migrate because there is not enough work locally, but such migration should be understood as forced or distress migration because many people perceived migration as an opportunity.

The accelerated movement of people originating mainly from the rural and backward areas in search of employment has been an important consequence of the nature of socio-economic development in the post-liberalization era. Migrants have been making enormous contribution to the national economy through major sector such as Construction (share of 9 percent to GDP in 2012), brick-making (second largest producer globally), Textile sector, Mining etc. However, they are situated at the periphery of society, having access to very few of the guaranteed rights and having no political voice. In reality migrants are poorly endowed with physical, financial, social, human and political resources.

While economic shifts prompt such mobility of labour, the phenomenon is saddled with numerous difficulties for migrants. Most migrants leave at an early age with poor or no skill-sets and enter the market with limited bargaining power. Long working hours, poor working and living conditions, exploitation or cheating by the labour contractors and employers characterize their existence in cities. Women migrants especially are vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse. Questioning and harassment by the police or local goons at the destination is a common occurrence for migrants surviving in urban spaces. Few are able to convert migration into a positive opportunity for them and their households, forced to retire early with minimal savings and often with life-long ailments that ultimately leads to untimely death.

Aritra Chakrabarty

Aritra Chakrabarty

Anchor, SHRAM (Till Dec 31st, 2014)

As a social researcher, I believe in knowledge-based policy action. With a postgraduate degree in Development Studies, I've been associated with social issues in my professional space. As a part of SHRAMIC initiative, was involved with data creation, sourcing of resources that will become the knowledge bank of this project.
Aritra Chakrabarty

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