Article

Circular migration in Madhya Pradesh: changing patterns and social protection needs

European Journal of Development Research (Impact Factor: 0.68). 02/2008; 20(4):612-628. DOI: 10.1080/09578810802464920
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT Resurveys in six villages in Madhya Pradesh show that contrary to mainstream perceptions, seasonal/circular migration has become more accumulative for the poor over the last five years as new opportunities in urban areas have reduced the uncertainty of finding work, wages have increased and the dependence on contractors has declined. Furthermore, migration is attracting more women and upper castes as traditional restrictions related to manual work break down. Migration has brought greater returns to those with skills or strong social networks. Others, relying on contractors or facing discrimination, have not benefited as much. Nevertheless, migration is viewed by the poor as a strategy for improving household well-being. Migration has reduced borrowing for consumption, improved debt repayment capacity and given migrants greater confidence and bargaining power. The paper concludes that policy should shift towards migrant support away from migration prevention. NGO initiatives that offer lessons for migrant support are reviewed.

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Available from: Priya Deshingkar, Feb 07, 2014
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    • "In Palanpur in western Uttar Pradesh, higher castes were more prominently represented among migrants in 1983/84, but in earlier years lower castes had secured outside jobs (Lanjouw and Stern 1989). The re-survey by Deshingkar et al. (2008) also showed increased participation by higher castes (and women) in migration as opportunities became more rewarding (also Rogaly and Coppard 2003, for Puruliya). NSS data provide information about migration among different castes, though the earlier-mentioned problem of under-recording may be particularly pertinent here (as the types of migration of the most deprived groups may remain unrecorded more often than that of better-off). "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper discusses the relationship between labour migration and poverty in India. This is placed against the on-going debates on changes in patterns of employment and job creation in India, during the periods of economic liberalization, under the Inclusive Growth policies since 2004, and under theimpact of the global financial crisis, and growing inequalities. The paper focuses on the migration patterns of deprived social groups, analyse whether migration form a routes out of poverty, and what specific policies for these groups exist or should be recommended. The paper first discusses general findings on the links between poverty and internal labour migration. These stylized facts are used to structure the insights into the changes in migration patterns in India, highlighting the under-recording of migration of most vulnerable groups. The third section discusses the implications of these insights for a notion of Inclusive Growth, concluding there is a need to address the invisibility of migrants and to review common policy aspirations to reduce migration. The conclusion reflects on the analysis of migration and policies to enhance migrants’ well-being and ability to participate in India’s disequalising growth.
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    ABSTRACT: The paper discusses how gaps in both the data on migration and the understanding of the role of migration in livelihood strategies and economic growth in India, have led to inaccurate policy prescriptions and a lack of political commitment to improving the living and working conditions of migrants. Field evidence from major migrant employing sectors is synthesised to show that circular migration is the dominant form of economic mobility for the poor; especially the lower castes and tribes. The authors argue that the human costs of migration are high due to faulty implementation of protective legislation and loopholes in the law and not due to migration per se. The paper discusses child labour in specific migration streams in detail stressing that this issue needs to be addressed in parallel. It also highlights the non-economic drivers and outcomes of migration that need to be considered when understanding its impacts. The authors calculate that there are roughly 100 million circular migrants in India contributing 10% to the national GDP. New vulnerabilities created by the economic recession are discussed. Detailed analysis of village resurveys in Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are also presented and these show conclusively that migration is an important route out of poverty.