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Migrant Informal Workers: A Study of Delhi and Satellite Towns

Modern Economy, 2014, 5, 562-579
Published Online May 2014 in SciRes.
How to cite this paper: Bora, R.S. (2014) Migrant Informal Workers: A Study of Delhi and Satellite Towns. Modern Economy,
5, 562-579.
Migrant Informal Workers: A Study of Delhi
and Satellite Towns
Ram Singh Bora
Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, India
Received 14 December 2013; revised 20 January 2014; accepted 20 February 2014
Copyright © 2014 by author and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).
In India, the activities of the secondary and tertiary sectors are concentrated mostly in large towns
and cities, and attract internal migration. Workers’ participation has led to spectacular growth in
the economy during the past two decades. By analysing data collected from slum households in
three states, i.e. the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, and in two towns of the National
Capital Region (NCR) of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh states in India, this paper seeks to assess if this
growth has improved workers’ employment conditions. The finding reveals that the workers are
employed in low-productivity jobs with low incomes and wages; they work without job safety,
medical health and social security provisions. All these deteriorate both living and working condi-
tions of the workers. In spite of their working and living in one of the most developed parts of the
country they live economically marginalized and neglected life.
Rural-Urban Migration, Destinations, Informal Worker, Slum Dwellers, Migrant Workers, Socially
Disadvantaged Groups, Below Poverty Line and above Poverty Line Income Groups
1. Introduction
In the developing countries, the secondary and tertiary sector’s activities are concentrated mainly in large and
medium towns. This process of economic development has attracted internal migration in developing coun-
triesat least two-thirds of adults in many large and expanding cities of developing counties are in-migrants. In
India, it is evident that the states with higher per capita income and larger non-agricultural sector show not only
high in-migration, but also high rate of out-migration (Bhagat, [1]; Bora, [2]). On the other side it is also evident
that the states which have less developed status of their economy, sending more out-migrants than they are re-
ceiving, virtually, are net loser of their population. Such trends suggest that the push factors have been far more
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effective in inducing a large volume of mobility (Rao, [3]; de Haan and Rogaly, [4]; Mitra, [5]). This shift of
population from less developed states has been followed by a corresponding increase in the proportion of the
urban population, and subsequently, an increase in the proportion of the unorganized workforce.
With the introduction of policies of reforms and globalization, the impact of these measures is highly visible
mainly in larger towns and cities in the form of infrastructural development, industrial expansion, commercial
diversification, communication, transport and even in social development activities. All these have attracted mi-
grants to urban areas; as most jobs for new migrants are available in the informal sector of economy, thus mark-
ing a progression in the sector. Over time the pattern of participation of workers in the economy has changed
particularly in the primary sector involvement of workers has reduced from 66.0 percent in 1983-1984 to 53.2
percent in 2009-2010 (RBI, [6]). The decline of participation in the primary sector has accompanied with the
rise of secondary and tertiary sector employment. The expectations of job availability in secondary and tertiary
activities have led the migration of rural workers towards towns and cities. With this trend the level of urbaniza-
tion in the country has increased from 27.7 in 2001 to 31.1 percent in 2011, an increase of 3.3 percent point over
2001 census (Census, [7]; Census, [8]). The 2011 census on urbanization as well as a study on the components
of urban growth reveals that the contribution of net rural-urban classification and rural to urban migration has in-
creased from 42.0 percent in 1991-2001 to 56.0 percent in 2001-2012 (Bhagat, [9]; Kundu, [10]). Although sep-
arate data for each component are not yet available, the rising trend of a large number of new towns in 2011
does show an increment in mobility as a component of urban growth (Census, [8]). Certainly, all these caused an
increase in the proportion of the unorganized workforce and an increase of informal activities.
In the informal activities, workers do not have employment or work security or social security and remain
poor and vulnerable throughout their working and social life. The formal sector job opportunities for the un-
skilled and less educated workers continue to shrink, and the employment created during the period of economic
reform remains entirely informal. At the national level, the unorganized sector constitutes 93 percent of the
workforce (NSSO, [11]; NSSO, [12]). This shows the significance of this sector for the rural migrant workers.
Similarly, the importance of informal workers can be further explained as this sector’s contribution in the GDP
income is higher (55.0 percent) than the organized sector (45.0 percent)1. This indicates the extent to which the
informal sector dominates the Indian economy.
Over the past two decades, the economy has experienced a reasonably high growth rate. The high GDP
growths since 1990s have not been possible without migration of workers. Rising GDP is expected to improve
workers’ productivity, increase their income faster and subsequently improve workers’ working and living con-
ditions. In this context, the present study attempts to examine whether the migrant workers living in slums have
benefited from the spectacular economic growth in their surroundings. Certainly, an improvement in their condi-
tions will be a realization of the dream of inclusive growth. Accordingly, this paper starts with an introductory
section; it then briefly discusses about the methodology and examines the socio-economic profile of the migrant
sample households and their living conditions in the slums in Section 2. Section 3 discusses the salient characte-
ristics of the migrant workers, and the conditions of work for the migrant workers are examined in Section 4.
Finally Section 5 summarizes the main findings of the study and provides some suggestions.
2. Methodology and the Profile of the Migrant Households and Living Conditions
in Slums
Methodology: To discuss above mentioned issues the data has been drawn from the Indian Council of Social
Science Research (ICCSR) sponsored research project. The data are related to the 716 migrant’s slum house-
holds, located in three states namely the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, and two towns of the Na-
tional Capital Region (NCR) i.e. Panipat town of District Panipat in Haryana and Pilkhuwa town of Ghaziabad
District in Uttar Pradesh. The National Capital Region (NCR) includes both the latter locations, and in all these
locations informal activities dominates increasingly. Thus the findings of the study are based on the analysis of
the survey of 416 households from the NCT of Delhi and 150 each from Panipat town of Haryana State and
Pilkhuwa town of Uttar Pradesh state, both falls in the NCR Region, in all 716 households are included. The
migrant workers working in the informal activities are approached only in these households and not at their
workplace. Pilkhuwa and Panipat are famous for their textile products, with the influx of migrant’s population,
the status of essential facilities and services in all these localities particularly infrastructural facilities were found
National Account Statistics, CSO, Government of India, 2009-2010, issue.
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in doldrums. In the NCT of Delhi, while visiting to slum localities, the gloomy face of glittering was quite visi-
ble. The NCR localities are far better than the NCT of Delhi when it comes to essential services.
2.1. Sample Households Profile
The sample formation leads us to a comparative study of the NCT and the NCR region. This section presents a
brief description of the profile of sample households and socio-economic characteristics of the slum dwellers in
their destinations such description is an indicative of the residents’ status of wellbeing, poverty, education,
health status and quality of their work.
In each location among the household’s head, most of them are workers too. In the above sample female res-
pondents are few in number; their proportion was higher in Delhi (9.4 percent) than in Haryana (6 percent) and
UP (4 percent). Table 1 and Table 2 present the sex of the respondents and size of the households, taking all
households together, the mean household size was estimated at 5.1 personsfar higher than the national average
of 4.7 persons per family (NFHS, [13]). In all three states, family size was higher than the national level. The
bigger family size among the slum dwellers has a direct relation with their poverty.
On taking the entire sample together, the share of the non-working population worked out to be 39 percent,
this proportion is higher than the all-India average of 37 percent (population projection2). While looking into
the dependency burden on the working-age population, the dependency ratio is estimated to be 0.64 percent. It
means every 10 persons in the 15 - 59 years working age group support above six persons, for Haryana, this ra-
tio is estimated to be highest, i.e., 10 persons support seven non-working persons. However, being in the work-
ing age group does not mean a person actually works and earns.
2.2. Social and Religious Groups3
In India, certain social groups such as the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Other Backward
Castes and Minorities have historically been disadvantaged and vulnerable. Migrant informal workers are large-
ly linked with the groups which are closely associated with poverty, social identity and poor conditions of work.
In our sample too the overwhelming majority of migrants are from the scheduled caste and other backward
castes, and also economically poor and vulnerable section of population, including Scheduled Tribes (Table 3).
The SC mostly dominated the urban informal sector and workers chose their dwelling in urban slums. They
have encountered deprivation of income, education and occupation due to their poor status. As far as religion is
concerned, between the Hindus and Muslims, the literature reveals that a higher proportion of the Muslim popu-
lation preferred to work in the informal activities, whereas a higher proportion of Hindus work in the formal
economy (Varshney, [14]). But in our sample a large majority of the respondents are from Hindu community
(79.8 percent), followed by Muslims (19.3 percent) the rests are from the Sikh and Christian community.
Table 1. State-wise distribution of respondents by sex.
Number Percentage distribution
Sex Delhi Haryana UP Total Delhi Haryana UP Total
Male 377 141 144 662 90.63 94.00 96.00 92.46
Female 39 9 6 54 9.38 6.00 4.00 7.54
Total 416 150 150 716 100 100 100 100
Note: Except for Table 7, data for all Tables 1-22 and Figure 1 and Figure 2 have been
drawn from the author’s primary survey conducted for the ICSSR-sponsored project during
2011 to 2012 in the National Capital Region of Delhi, India.
2Population projection, May 2006, Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner India.
3The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes comprise about 16.6 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively, of India
s population (or about 25.2
percent altogether, according to the 2011 census). The NSSO 61st Round (July 2004 to June 2005) report on Employment and Unemplo
ment Situation among Social Groups in Indiagave an estimate of OBCs constituting 41% of the population. Our Constitution contains va
ious provisions for the development of such marginalized groups, for instance, Article 341 for SCs, Article 342 for STs,
Article 340 for
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2.3. Asset Distribution
The human capital formation in terms of education is least among the respondents of our sample; similarly, li-
mited access to physical capital, such as land and housing, among unorganized workers also acts as a major con-
straint in the acquisition of good jobs and the growth of self-employment activities. At their origin a large ma-
jority (500 households) or 70 percentwas landless. Among the respondents in Haryana, the proportion of lan-
dlessness is higher (81 percent) than the total sample average presented in Table 4.
Although respondents with 1 - 3 acres of land are not landless, most belong to the marginal or land-poor cat-
egory. Land is an important asset; it provides a safety net to the workers against job uncertainty in the labour
Table 2. Working and non-working population of the total sample household
Delhi Haryana UP Total
Workers (15 - 59) 60.9 58.4 64.7 61.1
Children (0 - 4) 34.7 40.1 33.9 35.7
Above 60 4.4 1.5 1.4 3.2
Total 100 100 100 100
Non-worker (%) 39.1 41.6 35.3 38.9
Dependency ratio
Non-working to working population 0.64 0.71 0.55 0.64
Family size 5.1 5.2 4.8 5.1
Table 3. Distribution of respondents by caste.
Caste Delhi Haryana UP Total
SC 38.7 50.7 49.3 43.4
ST 0.5 0.0 26.7 5.9
OBC 33.2 40.0 24.0 32.7
Others 27.6 9.3 0.0 18.0
Total 100 100 100 100
Table 4. Asset ownership (percent).
Own land at village Delhi Haryana UP Total
Yes 31.3 19.3 38.0 30.2
No 68.8 80.7 62.0 69.8
Total 100 100 100 100
Acres of holding Delhi Haryana UP Total
Up to 1.0 26.2 10.3 3.5 18.1
1.1 - 3.0 44.6 69.0 59.6 51.9
3.1 - 5.0 17.7 20.7 24.6 19.9
5.1 and above 11.5 0.0 12.3 10.2
Total 100 100 100 100
Mean acres of holding 3.1 2.6 3.49 3.13
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market, low wages, untimely payment and uncertainty of job availability. In our sample, a large majority of the
migrant respondents are landless. For them, landlessness played an important role in their out-migration. For the
landless, vulnerability is more pronounced since they become migrant casual workers in various manual activi-
ties. Even in the case of land-owning households, migration of household members deteriorates the productivity
of land.
As compared to landlessness (70 percent), only 22 percent of the total respondents did not own a house at
their origin; the rest (78 percent) of the respondents owned a house (Table 5). Some said its size was very small
and many reported it to be in a dilapidated state.
2.4. Poverty Status of Migrant Households in Their Destinations
The total household income is often proxies by total expenditure, and used for measuring the household status.
The expenditure data include consumption of food and non-food items. The expert group estimated the poverty
line income by considering household expenditure in rural and urban areas nationwide, updating 2004-2005
prices and using the consumer price index (CPI) for industrial workers. Since our sample respondents reside in
the urban areas of three states, accordingly we estimated the monthly household income that determined their
present poverty status (Table 6).
During the Year 2009-2010, the Average Value of One Dollar Was Rupees 45.12 INR
For the year 2009-2010, the monthly per capita expenditure that determines the poverty status of households re-
siding in the NCT of Delhi was Rs. 807.48. In NCR towns, the amount was estimated at Rs. 664.64 for Haryana
and Rs. 636.67 for UP. The poverty status of the households was easily known by applying these estimates for
our sample households’ income as well as per capita income. If the sample households’ per capita monthly in-
come was lower than the income estimated for a particular location, they were included in the below poverty
line (BPL) income category; similarly, if the income was higher, they were placed above the poverty line (APL)
income category (Table 7).
Out of the total sample households, a little above 49 percent were BPL income households, with an average
monthly household expenditure of Rs. 3329. As the family size of the BPL families was 5.81 persons, the per
capita income per month is Rs. 573 and the per capita per day is Rs. 19.1. Table 8, presents the distribution of
families by location and shows that the large majority of households (60 percent) are under the poverty line in-
Table 5. Own house at origin.
Own house at origin Delhi Haryana UP Total
Yes 76.0 78.0 85.33 78.35
No 24.0 22.0 14.67 21.65
Total 100 100 100 100
Table 6. Income determining present poverty status and estimated per capita
expenditure in Rs. (in Indian National Rupees, INR).
Consumer price index
Inflation rate (%) 4.2 4.2 5.3 6.4 8.3 10.9
State Starting 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Delhi 612.9 638.7 665.5 700.8 745.6 807.5 895.5
Haryana 504.5 525.7 547.8 576.8 613.7 664.6 737.1
UP 483.3 503.6 524.7 552.5 587.9 636.7 706.1
India (urban) 538.6 561.2 584.8 615.8 655.2 709.6 786.9
Source:, accessed 17
January 2010.
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Table 7. BPL and APL households (%) and per household expenditure (in Rupees).
% of BPL HHs Monthly expenditure per HH in Rs. Per capita
Expenditure in Rs.
Delhi Haryana UP Total
Delhi Haryana UP Total
BPL 59.9 30.0 39.3 49.3 3378 3743 2805 3329 573
APL 40.1 70.0 60.7 50.7 4985 4194 3999 4509 1041
Total 100 100 100 100 4023 4059 3529 3927 770
Household’s income has been estimated taking into account the prevailing consumer price index in the respective
state for the years 2009 and 2010. Source: (accessed 17 January 2010).
Table 8. Housing ownership by type of house.
Ownership Delhi Haryana UP Total
Own house 93.3 60.7 49.3 77.2
As tenant 6.7 38.7 49.3 22.3
Others* 0.0 0.7 1.3 0.4
Total 100 100 100 100
Average rent
Paid by tenants 698 725 590 658
Type of housing Delhi Haryana UP Total
Pucca 31.3 30.0 50.0 34.9
Semi-pucca 33.9 58.7 45.3 41.5
Kachha 34.9 11.3 4.7 23.6
Total 100 100 100 100
Bathing facility
Bathing facility* Delhi Haryana UP
Bathroom attached 4.6 34.7 30.0
Common bathroom 12.0 17.3 16.0
Bathing in open 62.0 14.7 21.3
*The above table is related to only YEScondition of Respondent, some
were using work place facilities, friends and neighbors facilities etc.
Source of drinking water toilet facility
Source Delhi Haryana UP Total
Tap connection 7.0 57.3 8.7 17.9
Common tap 68.0 33.3 5.3 47.6
Hand pump 2.9 0.7 63.3 15.1
Common hand pump 4.1 6.0 26.7 9.2
Tube well 18.8 2.0 0.0 11.3
Any other* 3.1 0.7 0.0 2.0
*Some were using multiple sources only yes conditions.
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Toilet facility Delhi Haryana UP Total
Toilet attached 14.9 66.0 63.3 35.8
Common toilet 39.2 18.7 16.0 30.0
Open field 33.9 14.7 19.3 26.8
Scavenging facility 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.1
come in the NCT of Delhi. Households estimated as BPL are the lowest in Haryana (30 percent), followed by
UP (39 percent).
All these localities belong to a very developed part of their respective state; in terms of socio-economic de-
velopment, the regions located within NCT and NCR are considered to have advanced the most. Despite signif-
icant economic progress, per month per capita expenditure for the entire sample worked out to be just Rs. 770
a trickle-down effect of the growing economy in their surrounding has not taken place. The slum dwellers have
failed to become a part of the inclusive growth.
2.5. Living Conditions of Migrant Informal Workers in Slums
Due to rural-urban migration, cities grow in size, and slums are created, mainly urban facilities do not grow at
the same rate. With the hope of minimising living costs, including rent, migrants choose dwelling sites where
either the amenities or services are either poor or unavailable (Bora and Tyagi, [15]). One of the basic indices of
living conditions in a city is housing. Although a large proportion (77.2 percent) of the respondents owned the
house, the structures are poorly built and crowded housing conditions are considered prone to health hazards
leading to a bad quality of life (Table 8). Despite their bad living conditions, these inhabitants preferred urban
life because the city provided those jobs and other social amenities, which the villages and small towns did not.
Very few households (16.0 percent) are reported to have an attached bathroom; in this regard Delhi is the
worst. About toilets, a large proportion of the households in Delhi defecate in open field or road side (34.0 per-
cent), such practices are far lower in the NCR towns. Drinking water and sanitation facilities are considered an
important component of healthy living. Both have important influences on the health of the family members. We
found that only 18 percent of the total sample households have tap (piped) water for drinking. Mostly, depend
on common tap, hand pumped water and also many other sources. The findings reveal that the clean and relia-
ble sources of drinking water are lacking, further the users are drinking without purifying or filtering the col-
lected water. In most places street light facility was not found. However, overall 84.0 percent of the households
are electrified, the supply of electricity is irregular mostly in UP and Delhi.
2.6. Household Durables
Land and house comprises major share of the household assets, however, durable goods also play an important
role, and goods maintain certain standard of the households. We asked only about few items, as compared to by
cycle and motorcycle/scoter, a large majority of the households are in possession of the goods like mobile
phones (83.3 percent) and TV sets (71.0 percent) (Table 9). The analysis of this finding reveals that the mi-
grant slum households are poor in assets possession, consumption pattern, possession of households durables
as well as availability of basic amenities, it is easy to say that the standard of living of the migrant slum dwellers
is very poor.
Both the NCT and its satellite towns have experienced a reasonably high economic growth rates, and the
progress continues. However, the analyses did not reveal that the growth is inclusive. The spectacular growth in
these parts of the country has spread total inequality as far as slum dwellers are concerned.
3. Characteristics of Migrant Workers and Their Working Conditions
The majority of the migrants mainly originate from the slow growing less developed states, i.e., eastern, central
and western part of the Indian states and states with higher inequality in income earnings and assets distribution.
Migrants posses certain characteristics and discussed in this section.
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3.1. Migrants Workers’ Age on Arrival
Migrants reached at their destinations when they were in their teens or just passing through teen ages, for the en-
tire sample an average age on arrival was worked out to be 19.6 years, it was just 19.0 years for males and 22.1
years for females (Table 10). This reveals that the females generally join after marriage or settling down of the
male members.
The data analysis in the above table is related to the total of 924 migrant workers, workers born in these
households (168 workers) in destinations have not been included while analyzing age at migration. The migrants
in the age group of 15 - 24 years are few, This reveals that the recent migrant workers are not being accommo-
dated. This is mainly because of the space problems; any further extension for new construction is not possible
due to limited common land in their localities. The present average age for the entire sample worked out to be
39.0 years, it seems that there is no age bar in the informal sector; even workers above 59 years were also work-
ing. Among the workers, female share in total workers is less than one-fifth (19.0 percent), the rest is a large
majority of males (81.0 percent). The process of work participation is highly selective and is in favour of male
workers (Bora and Tyagi, [15]).
The majority of the migrant workers possess very low levels of human capital. Of the total workers, illiteracy
is estimated to be very high (45.0 percent), except in UP (34.0 percent), more than half of the workers (51.4
percent) in Haryana are illiterate, and Delhi also have a huge proportion (47.0 percent) of illiterate (Table 11). It
is far higher than the national level proportion of illiterate labour force (39.0 percent, NSS survey 2004-2005).
Illiteracy among women workers was ranging from 73.0 percent to 83.0 percent. Those who are literate and
above, have received an average years of schooling by 6.2 years, our sample workers received education about
4.0 years less than that received by workers in the organized sector (10.1 years). In all the locations, among the
workers effective and functioning literacy is lacking4. An acquisition of skill is only having with a small number
of workers, as the importance of education is well known, it is key for obtain gainful, productive and remunera-
tive employment.
Table 9. Durable goods.
Asset ownership Delhi Haryana UP Total
Car 0 0 0 0
Two wheeler 2.9 1.3 2.0 2.4
Bicycle 25.0 45.3 53.3 35.2
Telephone 0.7 3.3 0.0 1.1
Mobile 78.4 93.3 83.3 82.5
Television 70.4 81.3 60.0 70.5
Radio 9.1 5.3 6.7 7.8
Music system 1.7 0.7 0.7 1.3
Refrigerator 24.3 11.3 17.3 20.1
Cooler/ACs 24.8 17.3 10.7 20.3
Table 10. Average age on arrival (years).
Sex Delhi Haryana UP Total
Male 18.5 18.7 20.6 19.0
Female 22.2 21.4 22.7 22.1
Total 19 19.4 21.0 19.6
4As Ray (1998) puts it, to invest in human capital, a person needs to distance himself from the labour market for some time and devote r
sources on him. However, for these poor people, the opportunity cost of doing so is so large,
that despite the availability of cheap (and often
free) education, they do not avail it.
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Before migration, a very small proportion of males and females had some skills (Table 12). Gender differen-
tials in acquired skills were noticed.
3.2. Occupation of Migrant Workers
At the time of migration, only 3.2 percent of males were salaried workers but at their destination, at the time of
survey about 43.0 percent were working as salaried workers.
Before migration, not a single woman was salaried worker; however, at the time of survey, little over 49.0
percent women were working as salaried workers. Some women are also working as a casual worker. A com-
parative picture shows that over time, a great change in occupation and employment pattern has taken place after
migration (Table 13).
3.3. Present Skilled Occupations: Skill Acquisition Process
After migrating to the city, the majority had picked up required skills for the job of a labourer and mason. As
seen, above one-quarter of the total surveyed are trained for such a work only, and this figure is especially high
in Delhi (over 30 percent), followed by Haryana (21.0 percent) and UP (only 19.0 percent). For labour in UP,
the skills are more or less evenly divided between occupations such as craft and trades (20.0 percent), plant and
machine operator (20.0 percent), handloom operator (18.0 percent) and other elementary occupations (14.0 per-
cent). Delhi has a great divergence from the other two states (see appendix for present occupation). It has the
least number of trained handloom operators (0.6 percent) and plant and machinery operators (4.4 percent) while
this figure is high for both Haryana (19.8 percent) and UP (19.9 percent). Similarly, Delhi has the highest influx
Table 11. Literacy on arrival.
Percentage distribution of workers by literacy
Delhi Haryana UP Total
Literate 1.9 2.7 2.0 0 0 0 1.8 4.4 2.4 1.5 2.3 1.6
Illiterate 40.8 80.0 46.7 40.5 83.3 51.4 23.5 73.3 34.1 36.9 79.3 44.9
Below primary 16.7 6.7 15.2 15.8 7.4 13.7 13.3 2.2 10.9 15.7 5.7 13.9
Primary 13.8 5.3 12.6 12.7 5.6 10.8 13.3 6.7 11.8 13.5 5.7 12.0
Middle 17.4 1.3 15.0 19.6 1.9 15.1 30.1 13.3 26.5 20.7 4.6 17.6
Matric 6.8 4.0 6.4 8.9 1.9 7.1 12 0 9.5 8.4 2.3 7.3
Inter 2.1 0 1.8 1.9 0 1.4 4.8 0 3.8 2.7 0 2.2
Graduate 0.2 0 0.2 0.6 0 0.5 1.2 0 0.9 0.5 0 0.4
Technical 0.2 0 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 0 0.1
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Average years of schooling* 6.1 5.0 6.0 6.5 5.0 6.4 7.1 5.7 7.0 6.5 5.2 6.2
Table 12. Acquisition of skill on arrival (%).
Delhi Haryana UP Total
Acquired 9.6 2.7 8.6 5.7 1.9 4.7 12.0 2.2 10.0 9.3 2.3 8.0
Not acquired 90.4 97.3 91.4 94.3 98.1 95.3 88.0 97.8 90.0 90.7 97.7 92.0
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
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Table 13. Present and past occupations.
Delhi Haryana Uttar Pradesh At the time
of migration At the time
of survey
At the time
of migration
At the time
of survey
At the time of
At the time
of survey
At the time of
migration At the time
of survey M F T M F T
Salaried 1.40 44.71 2.36 42.92 8.53 39.34 4.0 0.0 3.2 41.6 49.4 43.1
labourer 25.95 34.53 30.66 45.75 26.54 45.49 30.3 13.8 27.2 40.7 35.1 39.6
Own account 10.38 20.75 6.13 11.32 11.37 15.16 11.5 1.7 9.6 17.7 15.5 17.3
Unemployed 33.33 0 28.77 0 25.12 0 28.0 40.8 30.4 0 0 0
Student 17.17 0 14.15 0 8.06 0 17.2 2.3 14.4 0 0 0
Others 8.18 0 13.68 0 20.38 0 6.0 39.1 12.2 0 0 0
NA* 3.59 0 4.25 0 0 0 3.1 2.3 2.9 0 0 0
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
*Note: NA implies children (0 - 14 years) who are neither student nor employed.
of service workers for shop and marketing works; more than 10 percent of migrants here do this, while the cor-
responding figure for both Haryana and Uttar Pradesh is less than half of it (Figure 1).
3.4. Reasons for Migration: Internal Migration
Some of the factors determining out-migration which have been discussed in the previous sections are the im-
pelling reasons, along apart from factors like perceptions, experiences and expectations of these migrants (Ob-
erai and Singh, [16]). Similarly, in the preceding sections, the discussion on the characteristics of the sample
migrants and of the household at their origin and destinations brought to light what could be the possible causes
of out-migration for our sample. The results provide strong empirical support to the importance of economic
necessity as a factor in the decision to migrate. Among the economic causes, landlessness, unemployment, lack
of jobs, poverty, low income and the shortage of land are identified. From the total, around 30.0 percent mi-
grated out for economic reasons; these factors altogether are playing the role of push factors. Push factors are
more effective in the case of men as unemployment and non-availability of work have been the main causes of
male migration. Among women, household’s poverty has been causing females to migrate; in all the states, the
proportion of women responses is higher than men. Among the pull factors for their relocation, “better economic
prospects(23 percent) has been the main cause for migration. The improvement factor and income differentials
are seen to be relatively more effective in the case of men; it has been mentioned as a better economic prospect.
The promotion of schooling in rural areas has stimulated out-migration by the more selective rural youth. Al-
most 21.0 percent of the workers responded that they migrated in search of better education and skill develop-
ment. Although landlessness is very high among the workers, but no land(0.3 percent), shortage of land
(0.9 percent) and poverty (7.0 percent), jointly known as the push factors, have not been significant reasons
while discussing individually. A few studies have also supported the hypothesis that migrants are attracted to ci-
ties in search of better jobs, education and skill development, inducement and entertainmentjointly known as
pull factors of migration and also called bright city lightsimpact (Findley, [17]; Oberai and Singh, [16]).
Educational opportunities, medical services, entertainment and other facilities are just not there in villages or are
available at a modest scale. Additionally, a sizable 13.0 percent of the migrants reported social reasons as their
primary reason for migrating across all three states. Although women workers are less in numbers as compared
to men, the overwhelming majority of women migrated due to social reasons (Figure 2). Therefore, in the case
of females, pull and personal factors are more important. Figure 2 summarises these reasons. In general, the
push factors have overriding importance for all sample areas, however, the importance of pull factors shows that
their relative influence is greater when income earning and employment opportunities are concerned. Since
many workers in our sample are also from urban origin, probably they might know better about income differen-
tials which create the urge to seek out better income and employment.
R. S. Bora
Service workshop/Shop
Elem occupation/Skilled agri
Craft and Related Trades
Plant and Machine Operator
Handloom and Power operator
Labour/ Mason
Figure 1. Present occupations of the migrants (%).
Figure 2. Reasons for migration (%).
4. Work Conditions and Environment of Migrant Workers
The workers those drawing salary and wages, form a total of 912 workers and those working as an own account
workers are 168 workers. All these workers are living in 716 migrant respondent households as discussed in the
earlier sections.
4.1. Conditions of Work for Wage and Salaried Workers
The conditions of work, focuses on the nature of employment; working hours; the average daily earnings, the
overtime earnings, if any; and the mode of payment. The physical conditions at work place as well provision of
protective instrument along with the overall working environment have also been studied. Among the employed
workers, 502 workers are working in NCT of Delhi, and 218 and 192 workers are working at Panipat and Pilk-
huwa of NCR respectively. About their job characteristics the actual situations are as follows.
4.2. Nature of Employment
If all the sample workers are taken together, nearly half of the workers are employed in temporary jobs, the
highest of 51.0 percent in Delhi, followed by 49.5 percent in Haryana, while the lowest of 46.4 percent in Uttar
Pradesh (Table 14). The migrants who are lucky enough to enjoy permanent jobs formed around 15.0 percent;
the highest of about 17.0 percent in Delhi, and the lowest, 7.8 percent in UP. The casual work activities form
quite a significant proportion of around 43.0 percent in Haryana, followed by 38.0 percent in UP and 32.0 per-
cent in Delhi.
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
No land at origin
Poverty/ Low income
Job appointment /Transfer
Dissatisfaction with current job
Induced by other migrants
Family tension
R. S. Bora
4.3. Occupation of Workers
Higher proportion of the workers are engaged in such activities that needed low level of skills, as a result, almost
32.0 percent of the workers are engaged in such occupations like masons, construction workers, laundry work-
ers, maids, watchmen, security guards, gardener and rickshaw pullers. Both male and female are engaged, fe-
males are at lower proportion in all the locations. The substantial percentage of about 19 percent are engaged in
crafts and related trades, which include motor mechanics and other mechanics, carpenters, electricians, painters,
welders, tailors, plumbers, TV mechanics and such other skilled workers. Because of handloom and power loom
activities in Haryana and UP, its related plant and machinery operations are higher among male and female in
these locations (Table 15).
4.4. Nature of Organization
Except manufacturing, the NCT of Delhi is providing varieties of job opportunities as it has plenty of edge over
other places, mainly creating more jobs in activities like household services, trade activities, constructions, pub-
lic administration/defense, also other activities like schools, hospitals, NGOs, food joints, etc. (Table 16).
About the nature of organizations in which the workers are employed, about 23.0 percent could not give any
response; in Delhi, the non-response was as high as about 30.0 percent. A little above 38.0 percent of the work-
ers were engaged in manufacturing sector; this percentage was high in both the NCR towns.
4.5. Registration Status of Their Organization
About the legal status of their organizations the workers are not aware, often these are factories, workshops,
reappear shops and shops. Even than they replied in favour of registration, and nearly 58.0 percent are reported
to be registered, under which provision i.e., Factory Act or any other provisions, workers did not know much.
4.6. Hours of Work
The average hours of work put by the workers per day are highest in Haryana (9.3 hours per day), followed by
Table 14. Nature of employment.
Delhi Haryana UP Total
Casual 32.07 42.66 37.50 35.75
Permanent 16.93 7.80 15.63 14.47
Seasonal 0 0 0.52 0.11
Temporary 51.00 49.54 46.35 49.67
Total 100 100 100 100.00
Table 15. Occupation of workers (%).
Occupation Delhi Haryana UP Total
Masons & low skill occupation 40.9 20.3 38 28.9 5.1 22.5 29 8.1 25 35.9 12.1 31.6
Craft and related trades 25.9 5.8 23.1 13.8 3.4 11 16.1 16.2 16.1 21.3 7.3 18.8
Less skilled occupations including agriculture 16.2 58 21.9 4.4 22 9.2 4.5 13.5 6.3 11.2 35.2 15.6
Plant and machine operators, helper 5.8 1.4 5.2 32.7 8.5 26.1 20.6 29.7 22.4 14.6 10.3 13.8
Handloom and power loom workers 0.2 2.9 0.6 17.6 61 29.4 15.5 32.4 18.8 7.1 30.3 11.3
Service workers, shopkeeper etc. 7.6 11.6 8.2 1.9 0 1.4 9 0 7.3 6.7 4.8 6.4
Professionals/technicians/clerks 3.5 0 3 0.6 0 0.5 5.2 0 4.2 3.2 0 2.6
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
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Table 16. Nature of organizations in which the workers were employed (%).
Name of Organization Delhi Haryana UP Total
Male Fem Total Male Fem Total Male Fem Total Male Fem Total
Manufacturing 15.9 11.6 15.3 70.4 76.3 72.0 54.8 83.8 60.4 35.6 50.9 38.4
Household as employers 7.4 44.9 12.5 0.6 20.3 6.0 3.2 10.8 4.7 5.1 28.5 9.3
Construction 8.1 2.9 7.4 6.9 0 5.0 12 0 9.9 8.7 1.21 7.35
Public administration/defense 8.8 2.9 8 0 0 0 2.6 0 2.1 5.6 1.2 4.8
Transport/storage/communication 7.6 0 6.6 0.63 0 0.5 3.2 0 2.6 5.2 0.0 4.3
Trade 7.9 10.1 8.2 0 0 0 6.5 0 5.2 5.9 4.2 5.6
Others 11.8 13 12 2.52 0 1.8 3.9 0 3.1 8.2 5.5 7.7
No response 32.6 14.5 30.1 18.9 3.4 14.7 14 5.4 12.0 25.7 8.5 22.6
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
UP (8.2 hours) and Delhi (7.6 hours), for Delhi these hours are lower than the standard hours also lower than the
total sample average of 8.2 hours. In the NCT of Delhi, many of them are working in such occupations where full
day work is not available. The hours put in by the surveyed migrants in the urban sector are varying a lot
(NCEUS, [18]). While considering entire sample together, mostly workers are receiving either monthly or daily
payments. Monthly contracts are usually enforced for workers in registered firms, while daily wages are given to
masons and labourers.
4.7. Payment of Minimum Wages
For the informal workers, there is yet no legal backing for the payment they are receiving, and most of them get
wages that are lower than the minimum wages prescribed for the unskilled/skilled workers. However, about 11
percent reported that they managed to earn even more than the minimum wages; most of them were skilled and
more educated. Therefore, it is true that the investment in skill fetches a good return, as skilled workers earn
more than the minimum wages. Overall, if all the sample workers are taken together, between 77.0 to 91.0 per-
cent of the workers were not receiving the minimum wages. This may have connection with the number of hours
put in by the workers per day. The higher level of educational attainments is also making its impact, as the av-
erage years of schooling is higher in UP. A comparative picture of the minimum wages is given in Table 17.
Our enquiry also reveal that the workers getting less than minimum wages, about a quarter, in-migrated 11 -
20 years back, and close to 35.0 percent of the workers in-migrated between 20 - 30 years back. Hence, there
has been no major improvement in their wages, despite their long stay; they do not enjoy the government stipu-
lated minimum return to their labour. Part time facility for earning was not available; very few were engaged
over time work and not found remunerative.
4.8. Facilities Available at Workplace
Numerous studies have pointed about the poor working conditions in the unorganised sector in India (Banarjee
and Nihila, [19]; Nihila, [20]; NCEUS, [21]). Conditions of work and working environment are known as the
availability of facilities like proper work space (includes space and height), ventilation, proper light, illumination,
temperature, humidity, hygiene, cleanliness and availability of proper implements to work with. We also ana-
lyzed some of the parameters available to them like available facilities at workplace, health parameters and ex-
cesses at workplace, i.e., drinking water facility, toilets for men and women, washing facilities, ventilation and
height of the working space or rooms (Table 18).
The table reported that the facilities wise standard norms in removing the prevalence of unhygienic and health
hazardous conditions were not met.
R. S. Bora
Table 17. Payment of minimum wages.
Receipt of wages Delhi Haryana UP Total
Less than minimum wage 90.84 87.61 76.56 87.06
Equal to minimum wage 1.59 3.21 2.08 2.08
More than minimum wag 7.57 9.17 21.35 10.86
Total 100 100 100 100
Table 18. Workplace facilities.
Facilities available at workplace Percentages
Delhi Haryana UP Total
Drinking water 99.80 100.00 99.48 99.78
Hand and feet washing facilities 16.73 23.85 29.17 21.05
Toilet for men 59.56 70.18 66.15 63.49
Toilet for women 23.11 48.62 33.33 31.36
Height of roof good enough 32.27 61.47 51.04 43.20
Ventilation is good 28.69 48.62 46.35 37.17
4.9. Activities of Self-Employed Workers
About 31.0 percent of total workers across the three states reported to be vendors of fruits and non-fruits and
operate on the streets, this followed by having own shop/tea shop (26.0 percent). Across the states variation ex-
ists in activities like waste collector (Kabadiwala), working as piece rate basis, working as entrepreneur and also
working as home based producer with hired labour. The proportion varies in the range of 8.0 to 12.0 percent, in
case of Kabadiwala, piece rate work 7.0 percent in Delhi to 29.0 percent in UP and in case of working as en-
trepreneur with hired labour varies from zero in Delhi to 4.2 percent in Haryana.
4.10. Location and Nature of Their Activities
As far as locations and manpower is concerned, very few activities on rental premises (4.2 percent), on an av-
erage 18.0 percent operate from their house itself, but this figure touches as high as 45.0 percent in UP. Further
owing place out-side is reported highest in Delhi (18.0 percent). Operating from streets or footpath is very
common across the states (50.0 percent). About the involvement of man power almost 95.0 worked alone, with
the state 100.0 percent touching in Haryana. Less than two percent employed more than two workers. This gives
us a very clear picture of the scale and nature of the enterprises run by these people.
4.11. Working Hours
On an average the workers worked 11 months in the last one year, lengthening of the working day and increas-
ing the number of working days are common practices in self-owned enterprises. A large majority of the sample
workers worked only a daily sales basis, work like that of electricians and other technical jobs require payment
after the work is over, about 13.0 percent of the labourer employed in such jobs.
4.12. Skill Promotion
As much as 40.0 percent of all workers felt their work and earning was being affected by technological change,
they felt helpless against it due to paucity of their own skill and credit available to them.
R. S. Bora
4.13. Working Conditions and Social Security Benefits
The analysis focuses on the provision of leave, safety provisions at the workplace, and entitlement for compen-
sation for the injuries. It also focuses on whether the terms and conditions as agreed upon are followed and the
employees enjoy the benefits of the provisions of provident fund, Employees’ State Insurance and medical
reimbursement. The analysis additionally focuses on adherence to the labour laws by the employers relating to
different aspects of employment. Nearly 45 percent of the workers reported that they enjoy working for six days
with a day off. This practice is comparatively followed more in Delhi than the other sample places (Table 19).
4.14. Provision of Leave
There is no provision of leave for a large majority of 89.0 percent of the workers. Leave provisions are not
granted to the workers across the sample, not a single worker reported provision of maternity and medical leave
in Haryana while in UP, only two workers reported provision of medical leave and one of maternity leave. In
Delhi, about 6.0 percent reported provision of medical leave and about 3.0 percent benefited from it (Table 20).
Similarly, in Delhi, provision of casual leave, earned leave and sick leave was reported by a comparatively
higher percentage of workers than Haryana and UP. On the whole, the provision of leave is just insignificant in
all the three states. Each day’s absence for any reason accounts for loss of income.
In the informal sector, the benefits enjoyed by the workers are few (Table 21). Casual leave, earned leave and
sick leave are not provided by the employers. It is not uncommon to find workers being called to work even 6 -
7 days a week. Apart from the daily wage earners, for whom each holiday is a loss in income, even monthly and
piece rated workers are penalized for taking a day off. There is no provision of paid leave during national holi-
days and festivals for large majority of workers as nearly 70.0 percent reported no provision of paid leave during
holidays. Each holiday meant deduction of the day’s earnings.
About the entitlement for compensation in case of injury, accident or sickness, an overwhelming majority of
85.0 percent of workers reported no such provision. This is disturbing as the machinery-related activities can
lead to accidents. The government needs to ensure that basic safety provisions are available at workplace for
these informal workers too and employers need to be held accountable for all accidents.
Table 19. Number of working days.
Working days during a week Number Percentages
Delhi Haryana UP Total Delhi Haryana UP Total
Six days working with a day off 246 99 65 410 49.00 45.41 33.85 44.96
Not a single day off 256 119 127 502 51.00 54.59 66.15 55.04
Total 502 218 192 912 100 100 100 100
Table 20. Provision of leave.
Provision of Leave Number Percentages
Delhi Haryana UP Total Delhi Haryana UP Total
Casual leave 41 6 12 59 8.17 2.75 6.25 6.47
Earned leave 48 4 3 55 9.56 1.83 1.56 6.03
Sick leave 22 2 4 28 4.38 0.92 2.08 3.07
Medical leave 28 0 2 30 5.58 0.00 1.04 3.29
Maternity leave 13 0 1 14 2.59 0.00 0.52 1.54
No provision of leave 428 208 179 815 85.26 95.41 93.23 89.36
Total 580* 220 201 1001
*Multiple answers.
R. S. Bora
4.15. Provisions of Welfare Schemes
Information was sought about the availability of welfare schemes to the workers like provident fund (PF) facility,
ESI facility, medical benefits, etc. All workers were asked about each scheme and out of 912 workers, an over-
whelming majority (90.3 percent) indicated that no such facilities were available to them (Table 22). Only 7.5
percent of the responses indicated that PF facility is available, 5.7 percent indicated that ESI facility is available
to them, while a small proportion of about 5.0 percent indicated that medical facilities are provided to them and
3.3 percent indicated that medical bills are reimbursed.
The analysis leads to the conclusion that the situation of these unorganized sector workers is pitiable regard-
ing these very vital facilities of workers’ welfare. Though the condition of the surveyed migrants is appalling,
and they are perhaps the poorest men around the world, they consider migration to be a step forward for them.
Here they have to live in shanty slums, deal with a lot more stress owing to family ties at origin and destination,
but they consider their life has improved across all spheres as compared to their village conditions.
5. Conclusions
Over the decade, the economy of the NCT and NCR has witnessed spectacular growth, but this has spread total
inequality as far as migrant slum dwellers and working in informal activities are concerned. The importance of
education was not being fully realized as one-third of the respondents as well as about 50 percent workers were
illiterate. Among the literates, higher level of educational attainment was negligible. This has prevented them to
acquire marketable skills and denied access to good jobs; it seems very difficult to sustain their survival strategy.
In the NCT and NCR regions, the inequality between rich and poor seems to be considerable as the per capita
income of this region is the third highest in the country. The gains of this high per capita income did not perco-
late to the population living in slums.
The comparative characteristics of the sample migrants and of the households at their origin and destinations
present a strong empirical support for the importance of economic necessity as a push factor in the decision to
migrate. Their socio-economic background reveals that the large majority of the migrants are from the histori-
cally disadvantaged classes, due to which they remained landless, illiterate and less educated. In their destina-
tions, they have been staying for the last two and more decades, with some having spent more than 30 to 40
years. For them, the aspiration of better living conditions is still not fulfilled. The fact that workers who mi-
Table 21. Entitlement for compensation in case of injury/accident or sickness.
Compensation for
Delhi Haryana UP Total Delhi Haryana UP Total
Number Percentages
Provision for compensation 57 46 34 137 11.35 21.10 17.71 15.02
No provision of compensation 445 172 158 775 88.65 78.90 82.29 84.98
Total 502 218 192 912 100 100 100 100
Table 22. Employment benefits and facilities.
Availability of benefits
and facilities
Delhi Haryana UP Total Delhi Haryana UP Total
Number Percentages
PF facility 44 9 15 68 8.76 4.13 7.81 7.46
ESI facility 41 8 3 52 8.17 3.67 1.56 5.70
Medical benefits 35 5 4 44 6.97 2.29 2.08 4.82
Reimbursement of medical bills 28 1 1 30 5.58 0.46 0.52 3.29
No benefits 448 204 176 828 89.24 93.58 91.67 90.35
Total 596* 227 199 1022
*Multiple answers.
R. S. Bora
grated over 40 years back still live in the same slums, persisting in similar natured occupations is concerning as
the ray of hope for their improvement appears bleak. In economic terms, we can say that such persons are
long-term poor, that is, their permanent income has been close to their observed income and consumption for a
long time. In spite of their unfulfilled expectations, city ward migration is gradually becoming more permanent
in a particular city or country.
The workers are mainly employed in temporary jobs; casual work activities form a significant proportion,
permanent employees are minimum. Wage and salary workers are concentrated in manufacturing, construction,
trade and services. Workers who are illiterate and less educated learned skills on the job while earning. All such
experiences about the illiterate and lower level educated workers give a direction about policy implications that
how they learn and pick up skills required for their jobs. This underlines the need to develop a training module
for illiterate and less educated workers, so that they can be easily absorbed in the urban informal sector. This
training should both form skills that have market value and upgrade these skills, and should be considered the
core agenda for improving the living standards of poor, informal economy workers. A huge majority of the
workers are not deriving statutory benefits like minimum wages, medical assistance, retirement plans or unem-
ployment compensation. Most of the workers are ill informed; they are working in those units whose activities
are not regulated under any statutory provision. The denial of the minimum wages and other benefits to workers
has deprived them from ensured healthy and educated lives as well as their ability to spend on a range of goods
and services.
6. Suggestions
From the policy angle the government should provide workers with their basic economic and social security
rights; so far state’s neglect of the statutory rights in the informal activities has reduced the sustainability among
workers. The process of migration is continuing since long, now it is necessary to ensure that government policy
and programs recognise the perceptions and priorities of the poor and help to improve their productivity, and
diversified employment opportunities. Most migrants in our sample are from rural areas and a large majority of
them are landless, for employment in the secondary and tertiary sectors are not yet developed in rural areas.
Therefore, there is a notable lack of employment in all sectors of the economy. For reducing pressure in urban
areas and one way to solve the migration problem is to take work to the areas of origin, by encouraging new
economic activities, such as informal activities in agriculture and the non-agricultural sectors. Similarly, agri-
cultural diversification will enhance worker productivity and eliminate out-migration from land-owning house-
holds. Diversification increases secondary and tertiary activities, which provide employment.
However, in spite of several rural development programs, changes in global production networks and in-
creased urbanization have changed the character of rural areas and more and more rural urban migration is tak-
ing place. Urban population growth is inevitable; rural migration will be a major component of this growth. But
city planners do not desire this influx. Therefore, this perception needs to be changedmigration should be un-
derstood to be essential to economic development. The policy makers are ill informed and policy ill suited to
supporting migrants. Policy needs to catalyze the integration of slum and squatter settlements into the urban
mainstream. In the urban destinations migrants are isolated, live far away from their workplace, and are mostly
deprived of mobility and accessibility. Improving their working and living conditions will reduce their economic
and social exclusion.
From the policy viewpoint, Indian cities and towns definitely need targeted achievements. Instead of waiting
for decades to rehabilitate slum dwellers, it is better to destroy these slums and rebuild modern new accommo-
dation. Investment in urban infrastructure is a key to high economic growth. Regarding the informal activities
there is a need to control small unregistered entrepreneurs the government should provide workers their basic
economic and social security rights. The states neglect of statutory rights in the informal sector has increased
an exploitation of workers and reduced the employment stability among workers. The standards for work condi-
tions and remuneration must be implemented properly. Similarly the self employed workers are fully insecure
and face unique livelihood risks, given their importance to society; there is a need to think about the welfare of
such workers. In our sample, the huge majority of the manpower is illiterate or poorly educated, policy must
create labour-intensive as well as capital intensive jobs in public and private organized establishments, so that
both skilled and unskilled workers can be benefited. There is the need to develop a training module for illiterate
and less educated workers in rural and urban areas so that the informal sector can absorb them easily in better
productive and remunerative activities.
R. S. Bora
Our finding also reveals that the workers lack safety, medical provisions, and social security for self and de-
pendents. Policy should create awareness among officials that resolving these issues would complement to po-
verty alleviation and, therefore, resources should be made available.
These efforts should be linked with health promotion and disease prevention efforts, so that migrant workers
and their dependents can live a healthy and productive life. Government health and social security schemes must
be made available to the poor and implementation ensured. Also, participating workers can finance many social
security schemes, at least partly. Social security should also extend beyond only the formal sector.
These measures are likely to improve the conditions of migrant informal workers. Policies and programmes
which reduce mobility towards big cities are expected to improve the process of development in the backward
regions as well as smaller towns.
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... fe phsu s ish peeesap, eua loe sa od siaee ec eap eopep Tha eo ep deac ea seles ea e eai p od lea aeeee oe uep aae eeT p ee soee eha eo a soep TaiaT ep e dheTe aeeee poehe oe, Therefore, the policy of spatial decentralization based on the creation of new towns, which is known as one of the shortest forms of decentralization in developing countries is chosen as a model of urban sprawl development . (Bora, 2014) [8] The experience of developing new towns in industrialized and developed countries has proved the role of such towns in managing the urban functions and population overflow and achieving the goals of their formation (i.e. decentralization and distribution of the urban population). ...
... fe phsu s ish peeesap, eua loe sa od siaee ec eap eopep Tha eo ep deac ea seles ea e eai p od lea aeeee oe uep aae eeT p ee soee eha eo a soep TaiaT ep e dheTe aeeee poehe oe, Therefore, the policy of spatial decentralization based on the creation of new towns, which is known as one of the shortest forms of decentralization in developing countries is chosen as a model of urban sprawl development . (Bora, 2014) [8] The experience of developing new towns in industrialized and developed countries has proved the role of such towns in managing the urban functions and population overflow and achieving the goals of their formation (i.e. decentralization and distribution of the urban population). ...
... The level of poverty line measures varies at different times and in countries. In India, the poverty line determines the minimum level of food requirement, clothing, education, etc.(Bora, 2014). ...
Migration is an essential livelihood strategy in rapidly developing, low‐income contexts. However, this article seeks to analyze occupation choices and the struggle for livelihood among laborers. This study carried out both secondary and primary data; the primary survey was conducted in the Udupi district of Karnataka. Detailed information was gathered from both individual and household levels. According to National Sample Survey data, construction offers the main occupation for short duration migrants, absorbing 36.2% of total short duration migration. However, the field survey findings indicated that at the destination, the construction sector migrants are more vulnerable and struggle for their lives and livelihood in the urban labor segments—poverty and rural unemployment a significant reasons to push the laborers into the construction segment.
... Push factors, also known as factors of necessity, and pull factors, also known as factors of opportunity. [2][3][4] According to Williams, C. C., 3 push factors can be understood as unemployment, underemployment, and dissatisfaction with current employment. "Necessity" entrepreneurs were forced into entrepreneurship due to a lack of alternatives. ...
Background - Handling non-observed activities pose major challenges to the governments and other stakeholders. Non-observed activities refer to underground activities, illegal activities, informal sector and any other activities that result in goods or services consumed by the household. The impact of these non-observed activities shows that the volume of people involved in the informal sector will rapidly increase. Informal economic activities are technically illegal yet are not intended as antisocial, thereby remaining acceptable to many individuals within the society. This research aimed to identify the factors that lead to entrepreneurial necessity and opportunity. Methods – The data of 51 respondents who were employed as informal entrepreneurs in Klang Valley areas in Malaysia was collected with the use of a questionnaire and convenient and proportionate sampling techniques. The data were analysed using SPSS software. Results – The two primary drivers of informal entrepreneurial activity were necessity and opportunity. The inability to find a formal job was an example of being driven by necessity. Meanwhile, individuals that are driven by opportunity chose to work independently in these informal sectors. Between necessity and engagement, refinement acted as a mediator. Often, necessity and opportunity do not automatically translate into successful entrepreneurship; further refinement is required in terms of market potential, technology usage, location preferences, and capital requirements. Improved refinement results in increased entrepreneurial engagement. Conclusions - The role and contribution of the informal sector entrepreneurship in economic development need to be evaluated and not just observed as an opportunity for individuals who choose this type of career. Therefore, further research is required in a wider variety of contexts to evaluate whether the same remains true in different populations. The results of this study can be useful for the government to set policies to encourage the transition of informal to formal entrepreneurships in Malaysia.
... In India, 40%-70% of rural households have at least one person working and living in an urban area (Rains et al., 2018). These migrants often end up engaging in informal sector activities in various industries, trade, and services (Bora, 2014). Quite often, these migrations are seasonal. ...
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This paper discusses various dimensions of internal migration in India, with specific attention on the major drivers including rural distress; climate and development-induced displacement; and socio-political conflicts. It is argued that poverty and vulnerability are the core factors that shape the internal migration landscape in India. With dwindling public expenditure on redistributive measures and shifts in pro-poor policies, the State's protection for migrant workers has decreased considerably. The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered yet another set of challenges for migrant workers.
... Informal workers are vulnerable, characterized by low wages. They often lack medical insurance (Bora, 2014), access to adequate housing and infrastructure, and have limited collective bargaining capacity (Baviskar, 2019). ...
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Inequity is deeply embedded in the supply of drinking water in Delhi, India. Using the concept of infrastructural violence, this paper exposes how past and present governance of water has resulted in unequal distribution of supply across the city to exclude vulnerable communities from accessing drinking water. This perspective broadens the gaze away from a narrow gaze on the technical and structural aspects of infrastructure to encompass the socio-political dimensions. This paper starts by outlining the history of the water supply in Delhi. We then outline five axes of exclusion which can be read as infrastructural violence and explores how aspects of water policy, legislation, and planning uphold these injustices. Our discussion centers on how economics, political ideology, and power infiltrate governing mechanisms to influence water infrastructure to entrench poverty and marginalization. Attempts to improve water security for Delhi's residents face minimal impact without addressing these embedded inequities. Therefore, our analysis offers a framework to systematically create awareness of the factors to be addressed to enable a more equitable governance of water supply.
... The extreme climatic conditions affected crop production leading to borrowing of money from financers and in turn, trapped them in debt. This forced them to leave their home and migrate to cities in search of employment (Bora, 2014;Mehrotra, 2019). Apart from 'push', there are pull factors such as growing demand for cheap labour, leading to inflow of migrants in the cities. ...
Covid-19 pandemic impacted both life and livelihood. The lockdown severely affected economically weaker section workers who mostly belong to informal sector. Among informal sector workers, three million are women domestic workers whom pandemic forced to stay at home. Despite government’s request, employers’ resistance to release the salary impacted their socio-economic wellbeing. The announcement of stimulus packages provided limited relief. The study analyses the difficulties experienced by women domestic workers. The workers residing in large cities were the hardest hit, as many international and national organisations were closed. Using secondary data, turmoil of women domestic workers is presented. The analysis revealed the impact of lockdown and highlighted that there is a gap in implementation of law and relief measures. The study recommends adopting innovative public–private partnerships to enhance socio-economic development of women domestic workers.
Industries develop in India in a particular form of exploitation of human, natural and social structures, where nature is industrialised and caste is naturalised. The division of labour in a factory interacts with caste hierarchy in society, where a dalit working body, physicality and social positions play an important role within the production process, under the control of capital. The environmental politics against pollution can create an industrial and social environment within which polluting industries and ‘impurity’ of dalit labourers’ bodies become synonymous with each other. Based on the analytic frameworks of Marx and B.R. Ambedkar and an extensive field study of an industrial area in Delhi, the article narrates how dalit labourers in stainless steel utensil factories move in and out of the industrial ecosystem and how they contest the repressive nature of their work and environment.
With growing interest in the lives of individuals and communities during the Covid‐19 pandemic, there is consensus among scholars, academicians and policy makers that the pandemic has had unequal impacts on different sections of the society. The dominant idea that “we are in this together” needs to be critically unpacked to understand the differential impact of the same pandemic on people with varied vulnerabilities. The concept of ‘intersectional vulnerability’ has been key to understanding the unequal distribution of the pandemic risk. Using a gendered intersectional lens, this paper aims to understand the lived experiences of migrant women workers during the pandemic and their narratives of gendered inequality. Through a narrative study in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), India, from May to October 2020, this study brings out stories of precarity faced by five migrant women while battling the social, psychological and economic effects of the pandemic. Loss of livelihood, home, savings and prospects of a better future shape the narratives of these women. The pandemic exacerbated the already precarious positions of these women by creating a situation where ‐ a) patriarchal structures were further reinforced, and b) losing gender solidarity and companionship through lockdown and social distancing.
Migration is a universal phenomenon. From time immemorial, women and men have travelled in search of better living. There are two separate streams of migration. The first one is at the upper end of human capital hierarchy, to fill in existing surplus demand in the labour market of destination regions. Consequently, this process is highly selective in nature—in terms of skills and training, age and gender. The second stream emerges due to ‘Push factors’ or distress conditions in the source regions (relative to the destination)—economic hardships in the form of low wages, high unemployment, heavy population pressure, etc. in the native places and the lure of better earning opportunities in the economically vibrant destination region. This process is a coping mechanism of poor families and helps them come out of poverty. Thus, migration can be both discriminatory and egalitarian. Another issue is the emerging pattern of identity and conflict between natives and migrants in several parts of the country. Social inclusion of migrants is sometimes at jeopardy and goes against the ethos and economics of one nation–one labour market principle. Using field data from three districts of Bengal in India, this paper seeks to understand issues like who migrates—what are the social, economic and institutional factors that determine migration decisions; what are the socio-economic disparities between migrants/natives and various socio-religious groups regarding education, employment and earnings; whether migration is a successful route out of poverty; perception of natives in receiving regions about migrant workers and how migrants assimilate. It also explores the humanitarian issues related to migration through case studies to help us understand vulnerability of migrants.
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India is one of the growing economies in the world and the growing population of the country has helped to create adequate source of labours both in the form of formal as well as informal in nature. The growing nature of the population also gives the advantage of demographic dividend which most of the developed countries aspire for. The report of Ministry of Labour and Employment is also mentions about this specific advantage that the country having. The report is estimated that the population will increase to 1.4 billion by 2026 which ultimately will help to create a working population in the age group of 15 – 59 years. (1) If this growth continues then the country will have 25% of the world’s working population. (2) In a country like India, most of the time this working population is absorbed in agricultural sector and some of them are absorbed in either formal or informal sectors which are spread over in the rural as well as urban areas. The present paper focuses on the laborer market in real estate sector. In this regard secondary source is taken as base.
Full-text available is with the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai. According to the 2011 Census, urbanisation has increased faster than expected. This has reversed the declining trend in the growth rate of the urban population observed during the 1980s and 1990s. Also, for the first time since independence, the absolute increase in the urban population was higher than that in the rural population. This has huge implications for providing infrastructure and other civic amenities in urban areas. O f late, there has been a change in the thinking of policymakers about urbanisation. The Eleventh Five-Year Plan argued that urbanisation should be seen as a positive factor in over-all development as the urban sector con-tributes about 62% of the GDP. There is also a growing realisation that an ambi-tious goal of 9-10% growth in GDP funda-mentally depends upon a vibrant urban sector (Planning Commission 2008). As the country is on the verge of preparing the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2012-2017), the urban transition is considered one of the major challenges, requiring a massive expansion in urban infrastructure and services. With this backdrop, the results of the 2011 Census assume enormous sig-nificance in enhancing our understand-ing of the magnitude, growth and inter-state variation in the levels and tempo of urbanisation in the country. Demographically speaking, the level of urbanisation is measured by the percent-age of population living in urban areas. In order to have a better understanding of the urbanisation process, it would be a ppropriate to examine which settlements are treated as urban by the Census of I ndia. There is no standard definition of urban; it varies from country to country (United Nations 2009). India's urban areas are defined on the basis of two criteria. First, the state government grants munici-pal status – corporation, municipal coun-cil, notified town area committee or nagar panchayat, etc – to a settlement. Such s ettlements are known as statutory or m unicipal towns in the census definition of urban areas. Second, if a settlement does not have an urban civic status, but satisfies demographic and economic crite-ria, like a population of more than 5,000, a density of 400 persons per square kilo-metre and 75% male workforce in the non-agricultural sector, it can be declared u rban. Such urban areas are termed census towns. It is important to note that India's urban definition is very broad-based and closely reflects levels of development u nlike several other developing countries. For example, in south Asia, Nepal defines urban areas on the basis of population size only: a settlement with a population of more than 9,000 is declared urban. On the other hand, countries such as Bangla-desh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan apply only the civic status criterion to declare a settle-ment urban (United Nations 2009). In each census, the rural-urban frame-work is prepared based on the above defi-nition of urban. Many new towns are add-ed and some existing towns revert to rural status if they do not satisfy the criteria. Thus the rural-urban classification used in India is a dynamic process, although there are some limitations to the defini-tion (Bhagat 2005).
The objective of economic planning in India and China, which started in both countries in the early 1950s, has been to step up economic growth and achieve equitable distribution of the benefits from growth. This article attempts to understand the experience of the two countries in achieving equitable growth under contrasting sociopolitical systems during their plan periods spanning over half a century.
The 2011 Census has reported a marginally higher growth in the urban population, yet it also reports a phenomenal increase of 2,774 new "census towns" - greater than the number of such new towns identified in all of the 20th century. Could this be the result of some kind of census activism working under pressure to report a higher pace of urbanisation? Since the Census of India has a reputation for rigour, it is imperative that the methodology for identification of new towns and possible changes from the past are made public.
Postmodern work on identities and ethnic conflict claims the primacy of historically grounded master "narratives" or "representations" over "facts." Postmodern studies of Hindu-Muslim conflict in India base their arguments on an aggregation of conforming cases, not on variance. A comparison of communally peaceful and violent towns accounts for the triumph of "representations." The validity of postmodern arguments about ethnic conflicts thus depends on the absence of interethnic networks of civic engagement.
This introductory essay and collection concern the social processes within which migration for manual work is located and which are influenced by that same migration. Writing from detailed empirical studies of migration in South and South-east Asia and Africa, the contributors provide illustrations of the importance and normality of migration in rural life. The studies show that the relationship between migration and rural change is complex and context-specific. Migration has often increased inequality, but in many cases also supported vulnerable livelihoods. Much depends on the social processes at work, the ways in which identities shift through migration and how gendered ideologies of work are deployed and change. Labour mobility usually serves the interests of capital, not only in ensuring labour supply, but also, often, in dividing workers; however, the power of capital relative to labour is contingent. We conclude this essay by exploring ways in which public policies can support migrants by making migration less costly and more secure, by reducing discrimination and enhancing access to health care and other services.
Internal Migration in India: Are the Underclass More Mobile?
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Occupational Choices, Networks, and Transfer: An Exegesis Based on Micro Data from Delhi Slums
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