Regional pattern of temporary labour migration in India


Vol NO: VOL. 13, ISSUE 81,

"Being a spatial phenomenon, the major contribution in migration research has been made by geographers rather than by demographers. Most of internal migrations are labour centric with a significant proportion migrating on a temporary basis. Research suggests that temporary labour migration plays an important role in household survival and is used as an income diversification and risk-coping strategy in agrarian economies such as India. Prevailing uneven regional development impels temporary intra and inter-state mobility of labour in various parts in India. For instance, women's labour mobility from Jharkhand and West Bengal in the transplanting season (boro) as well as the harvesting season (aman) of paddy crops (B Rogaly et al., 1998, ‘Workers on the move: Seasonal migration and changing social relations in rural India’; Gender and development) and the seasonal migration of tribal groups from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat to work in sugar mills have been well documented in literature (P Deshingkar et al., 2009, ‘Circular migration and multilocational: Livelihood strategies in rural India’, Oxford University Press). Temporary labour mi

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    Kunal Keshri

    Temporary labour migration is a survival strategy of the rural poor in India more prevalent in the country's northern and eastern states. However, intra state differences exist with pockets of poverty even within prosperous states, from where socially and economically disadvantaged groups migrate. The phenomenon calls for effective social protection programmes to augment the inadequate livelihood opportunities and negligible access to health care for temporary labour migrants.

    "Acknowledgment: The author would like to thank Prof R B Bhagat, Head, Department of Migration and Urban Studies, at International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai, for his encouragement and Rakesh Kumar, Research Scholar, IIPS, Mumbai, for his technical assistance in preparing the GIS map. The author is Assistant Professor, G. B. Pant Social Science Institute, University of Allahabad, Jhusi, Allahabad."

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