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Rural to Urban Migration: Remedies to Control



The movement of people from one area to another is today an important and characteristic phenomenon of population particularly of that of developing countries. Every country that has undergone modernisation has simultaneously experienced a major redistribution of its population. Such movements exert a pervasive influence on the social, economic, political and demographic structure of both the sending and receiving regions (Khan, 2010: 1). Migration is defined as a permanent or semi permanent change of residence of an individual from one area to another. No restriction is placed upon the distance of the move or upon the voluntary or involuntary nature of the act, and no distinction is made between external and internal migration (Lee, 1970: 290)..
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Shamshad , Rural To Urban Migration: Remedies To Control Golden Research Thoughts
Thus, migration refers to the change of residence of an individual from one area to another
(Hagerstrand, 1957: 28). Since the meaning of the change of residence also varies with the interval of time
for which the change occurs, it becomes necessary for all types of migration studies to specify a migration
defining period that differentiates a migration from a visit. On the other hand, migration is not merely the
shift of people from one place to another, but it is a fundamental factor helping to understand the ever-
changing ' space-content' and 'space-relations' of a region (Gosal, 1961: 106). In the Encyclopedia
Britainica (1966) migration has been defined as 'the movement of people from one place in order to settle
permanently in another, while, in The Columbia Encyclopedia (1956) defines migration as the movement
of people into new areas, usually, a distance away from the original homes.
On the basis of settlement status of place of origin and destination, internal migration is classified
into four types, namely, rural to rural, rural to urban, urban to urban, urban to rural (Bose, 1974: 40-143).
But with the passage of time, the volume of rural to urban migration has increased due to broadening gap in
the levels of socio-economic development between rural and urban areas, especially in the developing
nations of the world, because throughout the history, migration has been intimately related to economic and
social development and it is often seen as the result of imbalances in the levels of development (Sorensen et
al., 2002: 7).
The main causes of heavy influx of rural migrants in urban areas are the repulsive forces operating
in the rural areas in the form of high rate of unemployment, low wages, small size of land-holdings, lack of
modern infrastructural facilities, inadequate educational and health facilities, absolute poverty, while, the
availability of jobs, high wages, decent nature of work, expanding infrastructural facilities, civic amenities
and facilities act as attractive forces in the urban areas (Davis and Golden 1954: 1-26; Caldwell, 1968: 334-
377; Chapman, 1975: 129-148; Connell et. al., 1976: 102-139; Greenwood, 1969a: 283-290, 1969b: 189-
194 and 1971: 253-262; Hannan, 1969: 195-219; Hugo, 1979: 192-203; Jackson, 1969: 304; Long, 1973:
The movement of people from one area to another is today an important and
characteristic phenomenon of population particularly of that of developing countries.
Every country that has undergone modernisation has simultaneously experienced a
major redistribution of its population. Such movements exert a pervasive influence on
the social, economic, political and demographic structure of both the sending and
receiving regions (Khan, 2010: 1). Migration is defined as a permanent or semi
permanent change of residence of an individual from one area to another. No restriction
is placed upon the distance of the move or upon the voluntary or involuntary nature of the
act, and no distinction is made between external and internal migration (Lee, 1970:
Rural To Urban Migration: Remedies To Control
Department of Geography, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
Available on all social networks
Volume 2, Issue. 4, Oct 2012
Golden Research Thoughts
243-258; Peason, 1963: 321-339; Premi, 1980: 714-720; Price and Sikes, 1975: 565; Pryor, 1975: 32;
Sovani, 1966: 160; Todaro, 1976: 106 and Zachariah, 1968:10-16).
The opportunities for improvement one's economic status as offered by jobs in factories, shops,
offices, buildings and public services, facilities of vocational, technical or advanced education, better
medical services, entertainments, pomp and glare of cities and many other facilities which are not available
in villages may pull the rural inhabitants to urban centers for permanent settlement (Clarke 1981: 137;
Oberai & Bilsborrow1984: 14-30; Brown & Lawson 1985: 29-47; Chapman, 1969: 119-147 and 1971,
Davis, 1951: 107-123, Mitra, 1968: 251-257; Sen Gupta, 1968: 79-89; Zachariah, 1960: 1941-1951 and
1964: 1901-1931) .
According to the migration data of all durations recorded on the basis of place of last residence in
the Census of India 2001, the proportion of migrant population in general population was 30.57 per cent
while the respective figures for male and female migrants were recorded 17.54 per cent and 44.54 per cent.
The share of rural-urban migration to total migrant population was 16.43 per cent, whereas, the percentage
of male migrants to total male migrant population was 26.24 per cent and proportion of female migrants to
total female migrants population was 12.28 per cent. The ratio of total rural-urban migrants, whose duration
of residence was one to four years, was recorded 21.43 per cent to the general migrants of same duration, the
corresponding figures for male and female migrants were 31.07 per cent and 16.23 per cent respectively
The percentage distribution of socio-economic causes of rural to urban migration of male
population whose duration of residence in urban areas was one to four years, and who were in the age-group
of 15-39 years in India, the dominant and root cause for them to migrate is the employment because it alone
accounted 59.70 per cent of the total rural-urban migration of male population. After introduction of green
revolution technology and continuous fragmentation of land-holdings under the law of inheritance, the
proportion of unemployed and disguised unemployed has substantially increased in rural areas, therefore,
the unemployed adult males migrate to the urban areas in search of job, and where they engage themselves
in secondary and tertiary economic activities (construction, rickshaw pulling, cobbling, hair dressing,
white washing, loading & unloading, waiter & cook in hotels, shop attendants, rice and pulse mills, etc.), in
which, no technical know-how is required and wages are generally low. Moreover, 5.08 per cent youths
migrated for business purposes. The educational institutions attracted 15.25 per cent of the adult male
migrants in urban areas. Since Independence (1947), the Government of India has taken a number of steps
for universalisation of primary education in rural areas. Therefore, the adolescents after getting primary and
middle class level education in rural areas, migrate to urban areas for getting higher education, provided if
they have their own resources to continue their higher education, because upto now, the number of high and
higher secondary schools in rural areas is very meager and they are very distantly spaced, and in these
colleges standard of education is generally very low. The proportion of male rural-urban migrants moving
with their household is 11.43 per cent, followed by marriage 1.55 per cent and migration after birth has been
recorded 0.05 per cent, while, miscellaneous factors (natural calamities like droughts, floods, etc.,
social/political problems, housing problem, acquisition of own house/flat and communal riots, terrorism,
very high level of illiteracy, etc.), caused 6.94 per cent of male migrants to migrate from rural to urban areas
of the country.
The problem of population explosion in the megapolises of country is mainly caused by the heavy
influx of in-migrants from the backward and deprived regions of the country, which has been creating a
number of socio-economic and environmental problems in the urban areas. The heavy influx of migrants in
cities of developing countries of the world creates problems of accommodation, growth of slums, squatter
settlements and increasing number of houseless people, beggars and rickshaw pullers, child labour, crimes
and violence, lack of housing and basic civic amenities & facilities, water and electricity supply, sanitation,
unchecked growth of cities, traffic congestion, environmental pollution and overall decline in the quality
and standard of urban life (Khan, 2010: 133).
Therefore, the present study aims to suggests some remedies to contain rural-urban migration in
India, which is the second most populous country in the world, and where according to Census 2001, the
total number of rural-urban migrants, whose duration of residence was 1- 4 years in urban areas, was 10.14
million which is more than the total population of the countries like Hungary (10.01 million), Sweden (9.36
million), Austria (8.37 million), Switzerland (7.78 million) and Denmark (5.54 million). Thus, it is highly
desirable to propose the a few remedial measures to control over rural migrants, that in the light of which
appropriate policies may be framed to contain the heavy influx of rural migrants in urban areas, not only in
India, but also in the other developing countries of the world.
Taking into consideration the causes and consequences of rural-urban migration, the following
Rural To Urban Migration: Remedies To Control
Golden Research Thoughts • Volume 2 Issue 4 • Oct 2012 2
measures may be adopted for containing the heavy influx of rural migrants in urban areas of the country:
(i) Any solution to the urban problems associated with male rural-urban migration must be taken into
account with the background of rural population. As, it has been seen that most of the people moved for
economic reasons, thus the steps that transform the rural economy will, surely, contain the flow of rural-
urban migration stream. For it, the special drives have to be undertaken to develop small scale household
industrial units of tea processing and those related with horticulture in the mountainous regions of the
country with special emphasis on eco-tourism, the plain areas of the country may be developed by
promoting the agro-based, agro-allied and ancillary industries, like animal husbandry, poultry, fisheries,
horticulture, floriculture, dairy, piggery, apiculture, silviculture, sericulture etc., while in the plateau and
peninsular parts of the country, emphasis should given on promotion of small scale mineral, forest-based
and agro-processing industrial units. The key of development of the coastal areas of the country lies in the
rational utilisation of marine resources, establishment of forest based cottage industries and in tourism
(ii)In rural areas, the major problem is unemployment, particularly underemployment. There would thus be
a constant need for a package of labour intensive employment opportunities in villages. The disease of the
masses is not want of money so much as it is want of work. The problem of unemployment or
underemployment in rural areas being an acute problem that can be solved or minimized through the
promotion and intensification of rural industrialization (agro-based, agro-allied and ancillary industries
like animal husbandry, poultry, dairy, fisheries, horticulture, floriculture, piggery, apiculture, silviculture,
sericulture, etc.) in those areas where the majority of city wards migrants originates. In addition, it should
be supplemented with the provision of modern incentives to the farmers that may also retain the potential
rural migrants for employment purposes in urban areas.
(iii)The poor farmers, landless parsons, unemployed youths and women in the rural areas should be
provided with credit facilities and loan opportunities. Government should made available loans and credit
schemes to the rural poors at much lower rate of interest, to expand their farm, business and buy new crops.
Again subsidies should be given on chemical fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, weedicides,
and other basic farm inputs. The government can directly purchase farm inputs from the companies and sell
it to the farmers at a subsidised rate on credit to be paid in installment. The rural banking services and rural
microfinance institutions in the rural areas have to be established to improve farmers' savings and enhance
their endowment and introduce them to the financial sector. The agricultural extension officers should
increase their outreach programmes to educate the nation builders in the rural areas about the new farming
methods. So that the rural people become more vibrant and productive in their field of work and prevent
them from moving to the urban centres to have access to the financial institution.
(iv) With the awakening of the people about education and establishment of primary and middle class
schools in rural areas, a number of students migrate to urban centres for high and good quality of education.
After completing their education, it becomes difficult for them to return to rural areas where neither the
government jobs nor the urban civic and social facilities are available. Therefore, it may be recommended
that higher educational institutions may also be developed in rural areas to check the outflow of students
from rural areas. Moreover, in educational institutions a greater emphasis should be paid on vocational
education that rural students after completing their education may do their own jobs. Therefore, the special
drives have also to be undertaken to strengthen the primary and middle level education in the rural areas,
simultaneously, the emphasis should be given on diffusion of higher and vocational education in the
countryside so that the number of youths who migrate from rural to urban areas for higher education may be
substantially also checked. Thus, there should be sincerely administrative commitment of Govt. of India
towards the 'Right to Education Act' at the modern lines and simultaneously promotion of vocational
education in rural areas that can curve the rural migrants for education in urban areas.
(v)Rural workers and their families used to face several health challenges due to their work environment,
poverty status, inadequate housing, limited availability of clean water and septic systems, few
transportation options, inadequate health care access, lack of insurance, etc. and these all together create
significant health problems, like diabetes, malnutrition, infectious diseases, pesticide poisoning, injuries
from work, , , , , , , , , ,
j , , , , , etc. Unfortunately, in terms of health status, India has one of
the most neglected health care systems in the world. According to WHO, the present infant mortality rate is
52/1000 live births and maternal mortality rate is 230/100,000 live births. Although, the private and
allergy anemia arthritis asthma chickenpox cholera dengue dehydration gastroenteritis
aundice malaria fever measles migraine
Golden Research Thoughts • Volume 2 Issue 4 • Oct 2012
Rural To Urban Migration: Remedies To Control
corporate hospitals are blossoming especially in the big cities and towns of the country, but, public health
centres (PHC) and community health centres (CHC) have solved a few health problems in the villages.
However, lack of proper equipment, operation theatres, paramedics, technicians and doctors are leaving
most of these health centres in shams. Therefore, government should have to give much emphasis on health
services and extend all types of health facilities in the interior and backward areas of the country on modern
lines which may restrain the rural migrants who are coming in the urban centres for health & medical
(vi)There should be a good accessibility and connectivity of transport & communication system between
the rural and urban areas of the country, so that, the people of countryside can commute very efficiently into
the cities and towns for purposes of employment, education, health, marketing, entertainment & recreation,
etc. and return back at places destination of origin after finishing their respective works. Thus, connectivity
forms the main path, through which, different parts of the society or regions are connected together and it is
assumed that if agriculture and industry are the body and bones of a national organism, transport and
communication are its nerves.
(vii)A number of agriculture workshops in which either the agriculture equipments are repaired or
manufactured, and the retail services of chemical fertilizers, seeds, insecticides and pesticides have been
generally established and developed in the towns and cities of India. These workshops and shops attract a
large number of villagers to migrate to the towns and cities either for working in these shops and workshops
or for establishing new ones. Therefore, such retail services and workshops which are related with
agriculture have to be shifted from urban to rural areas for providing jobs in tertiary economic activities to
the rural youths. Moreover, by developing rural tourism, the non-agricultural activities may also be
developed in rural parts of India.
(viii)Urban civic amenities & facilities, bright city lights, theaters, shopping malls, sports academies,
metalled roads, parks, etc. attract thousands of rural youths from rural to urban areas; therefore, it is the need
of hour that these infrastructural facilities and amenities have to be diffused in rural areas for containing the
heavy influx of rural migrants from rural sector to urban sector.
(ix)Rural tourism infrastructure should be developed and diffused to endorse the tourism in rural parts of
India because rural tourism is one such sector that develops the non-agricultural activities in rural India and
the bridge the gap between the rural and urban people. Once, infrastructure reaches to villages, nothing can
bring the rural economy in a standstill position, and act as a 'mini-boom' in tourism industry in India and its
penetration deep inside the unexplored resources.
(x)There should have been effective implementation and regular monitoring of schemes and programmes
launched by Government of India for better work/employment and poverty alleviation particularly, in rural
areas of the country like Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA, 2006), National
Rural Health Mission (NHRM, 2005), Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP,
1980),Community development Programme (CDP, 1952), Intensive Agriculture Development Programme
(IADP,1960-61), Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP, 1973), Marginal Farmer and Agriculture Labour
Agency (MFALA,1973-74), Twenty Point Programme (TPP, 1975), Training Rural Youth for Self
Employment (TRYSEM,1979), Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP, 1983),
Prime Minister Integrated Urban Poverty Eradication Programme (PMIUPEP, 1995), Mid day Meal
Scheme (1995), etc.
(xi)There should also be devolution of big industrial units in the form of growth poles (MNCs and SEZs) in
the interior rural backward parts states and union territories to provide high class jobs (blue-colour jobs in
secondary sector, pink-colour jobs in tertiary sector, white-colour jobs in quaternary sector and gold-colour
jobs in quinary sector) for highly qualified rural youths.
(xii)Notwithstanding, nothing could be achieved without reducing the high natural growth of population.
Therefore, there is an urgent need to popularize the slogan of two child norm in the lower section of the
society by raising the socio-economic standard of the rural people
(xiii)It does not mean that rural-urban migration should be totally controlled. A static society cannot
compete and develop in this modern and dynamic world without movement of some people from one
region to another according to the needs of various regions and societies. Therefore, it may be suggested
Golden Research Thoughts • Volume 2 Issue 4 • Oct 2012
Rural To Urban Migration: Remedies To Control
that before the formulation of migration policies at local, regional and national level, the micro-level
analysis of the socio-economic and demographic attributes of migrants in various types of migration-
streams may be made to assess the impacts of migration on the areas of origin and destination of the
migrants. Besides, the thorough knowledge of the causes of migration is equally essential for framing
rational policies and plans to check, modify or regulate migration flows. The analysis of the determinants of
migration may be based on community types (both at origin and destination), period, age, sex, religion,
caste, literacy, marital status, family size, employment status, size of landholdings, income, distance,
boundaries crossed at the time of migration as the differentials.
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Ltd., pp. 40-143.
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Communities', in L.A. Kosinski, R.M. Prothero (eds) People on the Move: Studies on Internal Migration,
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Clarke, J.I. (1981) Population Geography. Oxford: Pergamon Press, pp. 131-137.
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States', Review of Economics and Statistics, 51: 189-194.
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Country: The Case of India', Journal of Regional Sciences, 11: 253-262.
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Golden Research Thoughts • Volume 2 Issue 4 • Oct 2012
Rural To Urban Migration: Remedies To Control
Premi, M.K. (1980) 'Aspects of Female Migration in India', Economic and Political Weekly, 15 (15): 714-
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Migration is a truly global phenomenon, with movements both within nations and internationally across borders. The world has an estimated 244 million international migrants and 763 million internal migrants. Rural-Urban Migration is a Migration of people from rural to urban area for better life and increase their financial condition. A large share of migrants come from rural areas where more than 75 per cent of the world's poor and food insecure depends on agriculture and natural resource-based livelihood. The United Nation (UN) defined migration as a form of geographical or spatial mobility between one geographical unit and another. It involves a change in residence from the place of origin or departure to the place of destination or arrival. Mainly migration is three types by political boundaries, by movement and by decision making. Rural-Urban migration due so some pull and push factor, push factor like rural poverty, less benefit from agriculture and push factors which are attracting to people in Urban area like job opportunities, good education facilities etc. according to 2011 census data Hindi belt state of India are contributing 50 per cent of migration in another state. Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujrat, Haryana are the main destination of migration of people of another state. There are a lot of gender gap in migration. Male mainly migrating for work and employment but in case of female migrating for marriage. There is consequence like in economic, demographic, social consequence in both places in origin and destination places. Through some method we can minimize the migration but not possible to control whole migration. Methods like rural industrialization, government employee scheme can minimize the migration of people from rural to urban area.
The present study ‘Perspectives of Urban Development: A Micro Level Study’ deals with an important aspect of urban geography. No doubt, Udaipur city is one of the most natural and beautiful city of the world but simultaneously on-going unplanned and shortsighted developmental strategy of the city is creating several kinds of problems too. In-migration, lopsided policies and programmes, etc. are aggravating city problems further. Udaipur being a major beautiful tourist city by virtue of nature’s gift attracts the tourists both from abroad and domestic destinations. Therefore, by thinking the statement of “Green, Clean and Peaceful City”, the city of Udaipur has been selected for this present study. For the healthy habitat of population, the city should be environmentally liveable or sustainable, economically viable, socially acceptable and politically tenable; with this thought, we pondered over the Udaipur city, where everyone wishes to settle down and would like to spend all his/her life in the lap of nature of this city. Moreover, the Udaipur city has been selected for smart city project; consequently authorities should also focus on problems faced by population presented in this study along with the proposed smart city goals. Thus, the present work might give new direction to ‘smart city model’ of the country.