‘Circular Migration in Madhya Pradesh: Changing Patterns and Social Protection Needs’

European Journal of Development Research (Impact Factor: 0.85). 02/2008; 20(4):612-628. DOI: 10.1080/09578810802464920
Source: RePEc


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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    • "While longitudinal field studies in India indicate improved wages and income among migrants over time [2,48,51], the most economically and socially-deprived have remained in debt [50,52]. Deshingkar and colleagues summarized their observations in Madhya Pradesh: “…for the poorest groups of migrants, especially unskilled and uneducated Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) who still migrate through agents, or who cannot enter remunerative … work because of discrimination, working conditions and earnings are far from ideal and positive changes in living standards are less certain and slower” [2]. Though some studies suggest migrants are more able to resist exploitation [2,51], recent reports document illegally low wages and strenuous work hours [4,53,54]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Many of India's estimated 40 million migrant workers in the construction industry migrate with their children. Though India is undergoing rapid economic growth, numerous child protection issues remain. Migrant workers and their children face serious threats to their health, safety, and well-being. We examined risk and protective factors influencing the basic rights and protections of children and families living and working at a construction site outside Delhi. Using case study methods and a rights-based model of child protection, the SAFE model, we triangulated data from in-depth interviews with stakeholders on and near the site (including employees, middlemen, and managers); 14 participants, interviews with child protection and corporate policy experts in greater Delhi (8 participants), and focus group discussions (FGD) with workers (4 FGDs, 25 members) and their children (2 FGDs, 9 members). Analyses illuminated complex and interrelated stressors characterizing the health and well-being of migrant workers and their children in urban settings. These included limited access to healthcare, few educational opportunities, piecemeal wages, and unsafe or unsanitary living and working conditions. Analyses also identified both protective and potentially dangerous survival strategies, such as child labor, undertaken by migrant families in the face of these challenges. By exploring the risks faced by migrant workers and their children in the urban construction industry in India, we illustrate the alarming implications for their health, safety, livelihoods, and development. Our findings, illuminated through the SAFE model, call attention to the need for enhanced systems of corporate and government accountability as well as the implementation of holistic child-focused and child-friendly policies and programs in order to ensure the rights and protection of this hyper-mobile, and often invisible, population.
    BMC Public Health 09/2013; 13(1):858. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-13-858 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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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.
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