The Impact of Migrant Labour on Development in India: A Case Study From the New City of Gurgaon
Author : Sven Selås Kallevik | 2014
Published By: University of Bergen
In developing countries it has for long been the trend that only single migrants participate in the extensive rural-urban migration. This exact phenomenon will be elaborated and enlightened in this thesis. In India, as well as in other countries, migrants play an integral role in the urban workforce. They offer a cheap, reliable (in the sense that they are many) and easy accessible service. This thesis put emphasis on how low-skilled labourers cope with life in an urban setting. Furthermore, it will be elaborated several reasons why these migrants choose to make the move, and why they in most cases do not bring their families along. It will also be discussed how low-skilled migrants contribute to the economic development witnessed in contemporary India. Does the low wage received by urban migrants help poverty alleviation or is it purely an exploitation of the migrants by the employers? The thesis builds on qualitative collected data as well as in-depth interviews and on site observations, complemented by an extensive survey (n=72) undertaken by the author. The author has interviewed low-skilled labourers on the streets of Gurgaon and sub-urb Delhi. From this it became clear that there is a general agreement that the low-skilled labourers do not earn enough to make a living for a whole family in an urban situation. Then again, they earn more in the city than they do on the countryside (if they earn anything at all). It was many a time pointed to the lack of sufficient work opportunities in the countryside where most families practice within subsistence farming. In respect to the aspect of development the labour migrants was found to offer a significant contribution to the development occurring in contemporary Gurgaon. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MGNREGA) is a national government scheme put together to help employ villagers in non-agricultural sectors. The effects of this will to some extent also be elaborated in this thesis.
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