Internal Migration in India

Mapping of migrants conducted by Kislay
Mapping of migrants conducted by Kislay (Photo: RLS South Asia)

KISLAY | During the last years India’s economy made a giant leap: Many sectors have boomed, what leads to a remarkable development and economic dynamics especially in urban areas. In many regions of the country agriculture is no longer profitable and many people are forced to leave their homes in order to sustain their livelihood. With the wish to find better living conditions and higher incomes, people migrate to the big industrial hubs. Migrant workers are the backbone of India’s growing economic success. Nevertheless, they belong to the most vulnerable and marginalised group within the society due to the lack of fundamental rights and the awareness about it. In order to improve the precarious situation many workers have to face, our project partner Kislay (Social Research Collective) conducts research studies on migrant workers to answer questions about the reasons for migration and the challenges of workers before, during and after the migration process.

Kislay (Social Research Collective) aims to address the lacunae in the discussion around migration by examining migration flows into areas that have received less attention like Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand and comparing them to flows into Delhi. The objective is to examine not only the immediate conditions of the workers, but to also look at the political situation and framework. The focus in 2017 was placed on the political consciousness and working conditions of daily wage migrant workers. In 2018 the conducted study highlighted the impact of migration on the families of migrant workers, in particular on women who may join their husbands to the destination areas. But migration has not only an impact on men and women or individual workers. Migration also affects entire families and especially children face new and different challenges. In order to examine their situation Kislay (Social Research Collective) conducted a study on the impact of migration on children of migrant workers in 2019.

In 2020 the implemented study aims to take a closer look at the facet of the situation that has repeatedly emerged as a structural component of oppression. The question of housing and the fact that daily wage workers often live in highly vulnerable residential areas.

Our Partner

Kislay (Social Research Collective) is a non-profit organisation founded in 1991. Kislay’s main objective is to support the marginalised urban poor and to inform, empower and enable them to organise to deal with the injustices by using different strategies. The basic purpose of Kislay’s intervention in the last few years has been to facilitate informed participation of the community members and workers in the governance system and on labour related issues.

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