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Migration Patterns

Changing Pattern of Migration from Rural Bihar

Author : Anup K. Karan | 2016
Published By: Institute for Human Development

The origin of current migration from Bihar can be traced back to the days of ushering in green revolution in the north-west India, which created unprecedented demand for labour in agriculture. During the early 1970s it started with a small trickle to the rural areas of Punjab which soon took the form of a flood during the next one decade. Soon the influx of migrant labour to rural areas of Punjab started spilling over to the neighbouring state of Haryana where the green revolution was making a headway. However, the rising trend of migration to rural Punjab stabilised after early 1990s for various reasons: prolonged period of terrorism and attacks on migrant labourers during this period, changing cropping pattern to suit the market demand that allowed extensive mechanisation of agriculture, resulting into the displacement of rural labour, and also relatively slow rise in wage rates. These together dampened the flow of migrants from rural Bihar to rural Punjab (Singh 1995). Partly the flow was diverted to new areas such as Haryana and even to the parts of Jammu but, on the whole, the number of migrants to Punjab and Haryana either stabilised or started declining.

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