Urban India 2014 | Jan - Jun

Submitted by niuaadmin on 10 January 2015 - 11:18am
Internal Migration in India: setting the Context

The paper puts forth the background where migration is seen as a necessary strategy for survival. The phase of jobless growth of Indian economy had prompted many people to undertake both short-term and long-term movements including commuting between home and workplace. Seasonal migration is one of the most common strategies adopted by the rural people especially when they face challenges that affect their work related to agriculture like lack of irrigation water, extreme climatic conditions. In addition to working in textile sector and mining, majority of short-term migrants end up in the construction and brick kiln sector. Although, it is a well-known fact that seasonal /short-term migrations involves movement of large number of people, yet it is difficult to estimate their numbers and the level of well-being of the migrants’ households. The paper argues that there are two issues which the government needs to address. The first is to fill key data gaps. The second is universal portability of rights. Moreover, many Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) who have have been playing multiple roles in assisting migrant workers can play a great role in this regard. This will enable enumeration of migrants at both rural and urban ends and ensuring access to services at both ends so that migrants don’t fall through the cracks.

S. Chandrasekhar and Poornima Dore
Linking Separate Worlds: Understanding the Process of Rural-Urban Seasonal Migration in India

Migration of rural poor to cities is assumed to be one of the biggest factors leading to rapid urban growth. Despite contradicting evidence, the focus of both the urban policies and rural development strategies has been to prevent or reduce rural-out migration. While urban centres are being increasingly exclusionary towards migrants, rural development policies are guided by the assumption that effective and efficient rural development programs with the infusion of technology, finance and better market linkages could reduce population mobility by making villages self-sufficient. In reality, rural citizens are forced to move out of the villages due to the endemic social and ecological challenges faced by them. Based on field studies at source as well as destination, the paper focuses on the experiences of tribal migrants in the state of Madhya Pradesh and argues that this gamut of flawed policies is an outcome of lack of micro-level understanding of seasonal migration.

Dr. Yogesh Kumar and Ms. Anamika Ajay
Migration Study Report of Gaisilat Block of Bargarh District of Odisha

A number of factors including widespread poverty, frequent natural disaster and lack of non-farm employment have resulted in large scale out-migration from several districts of Odisha to nearby districts of the same state and even other States. However, migration remains seasonal in nature, involving a period of 6-7 months and up to 9 months in a few cases. The paper discusses the nature of temporary migration from the Bargarh district of Odisha and is based on a survey of households in the Gaisilat block of the district.

Kanhu Charan Majhi, Abhaya Chandra Tripathi, Jadumani Pradhan
Job Search and Labour Market Conditions of Migrants at the Destination: The Case of Lucknow

Migration is an integral part of human development and internal migration is prominent in developing countries. Though migration theories have explained the movement of people from macro and individual perspective, not much attention is given on the process of job search and impediments faced by the migrant on account of the move. This paper highlights some of these aspects and sheds light on the problems faced by the migrants at the destination, their job search process, job mobility and other labour market issues. This study relies on the primary survey of migrants conducted at selected labour congregation points where migrants seek work within the capital city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Probir Bose and RamjeeRai
Well-being of Migrant Workers: Perspectives from Daily Labour Markets in Navi Mumbai

The paper is based on a survey of migrant labourers in daily labour markets across seven locations, called nakas, in Navi Mumbai. The paper documents the access of migrants to various aspects of integration into the city such as housing, basic amenities, political representation, financial inclusion etc. It also provides a description of various aspects of the daily labour market such as wages, employment, and occupational hazards. The study finds that, in addition to lack of access to basic amenities, unemployment and health hazards, a substantial proportion of the workers also face the risk of non-payment of their wages. Analyzing various market level covariates of being reneged on wage payments, such as the share of inter-state migrants, linguistic and caste fractionalization etc., it is argued that a regulated daily labour market might solve some problems related to wage payments. An absence of political voice among the workers might explain their inability to demand better living and working conditions.

Karthikeya Naraparaju
Migration and Conflict in the Mega City: A Study of Migrants in Hyderabad

Migration is a historical phenomenon and an integral part of human existence. While spatial movement had resulted in diversity and multiculturalism, the inflow of migrants has led to the formation of informal settlements in the peripheral limits of the city. In these areas, migrants struggle to establish a foothold in a new social space. Questions of identity begin to acquire a new meaning for migrants in such a scenario, and kinship and friendship ties emerge as significant social institutions for them. The present study looks at the labour market conditions and experiences of migrants in Hyderabad.

Triveni Goswami Vernal, Bagmi Priyadarshini, Sayed Nayeem, P. Raghavendra (Yugantar)
The Socio-economic Status of Migrant Construction Workers in Bangalore and Intervention Plan to Improve Their Livelihoods

Rural to urban migration is increasing in India for both short and long-term movements. Nearly half of the migrants find their destination in the construction sector. Bangalore, along with other urban areas of Karnataka has emerged as the main hub of the construction industry and draws migrants from within the State and from other States also. While it may seem that migration into construction industry would fetch workers higher income, poor housing conditions, inadequate electricity supply, health afflictions and unhygienic living conditions are some of the intangible costs that the migrant workers have to incur. These unorganized workers are unable to bargain for fair wages and for good living and working conditions. This situation is very precarious, especially for inter-state migrants. This study looks at the situations of migrant construction workers in Bangalore with a view to help design programmes and policies for them.

Smita Premchander, V. Prameela, Shammeem Banu, K.G. Meenakshi, Hosalli Manjunath, T. Prema, Sampark (Bangalore)
Migration in the Slums of Kolkata: A Gendered Perspective

The concept of migration is not new to social science researchers. Conventional models describe migrants from ‘push-pull’ perspectives. However, they fail to take into account the impact of social processes affecting migration, especially issues related to women who largely remain underrepresented in studies related to migration or the labour market. Despite the fact that women cite marriage/family movement as the main reason for migration, it is important to recognise that they were workers at the source area and are potential workers in the destination as well. Drawing sample from a slum in Kolkata, this paper contests the overall role of women as tied movers. Further, the paper discusses the background profile of migrants and gives an account of gendered division of the migrants’ labour market participation, types of work and related issues.

Arpita Banerjee
Child labour in Cotton Seed Production: A Case of Cotton seed Farms in North Gujarat

Gujarat occupies a prominent position in producing cotton and cottonseed. The area under cotton production has been constantly increasing during last few years. Owing to rising labour prices without proportionate rise in price of cottonseed and the continued practice of manual crosspollination, Bt cotton farmers commonly hire child labour at lower wages in lieu of adult males. Most farms employ children as the chief source of labour, with nearly three-fourth of the labourers aged between 6-18 years. The children work for 9-11 hours a day in poor conditions and the wages received are much below the legal remuneration. This paper is a documentation of use of child labour in cottonseed production, with a focus on recruitment processes and work and living conditions. The paper presents data from field survey in North Gujarat by where systematic interviews were conducted with farmers, contractors and workers.

Ashok Khandelwal, Sudhir Katiyar, Madan Vaishnav Dakshini Rajasthan Mazdoor Union (Dungarpur)
Policies to Safeguard Migrants’ Rights: A Critical Approach

Any discussion on migration and the condition and entitlements of migrant workers remains incomplete without a reference to the policy framework available to safeguard their rights at the destination. It may be mentioned here that except for the Inter State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act 1979, there are no other laws dealing exclusively with migrants in India. Most of the migrant workers are poor, illiterate and engaged in informal sectors of employment. Usually, they are unaware of the labour laws meant to safeguard their rights. This paper discusses the basic tenets of the various labour legislations and their implications, in addition to court cases which have bearing on the living and working conditions of migrant workers. It may be noted that some existing legislations to safeguard the security of workers are equally applicable to migrant workers.

Debolina Kundu