Internal Migration in India: Challenges, Benefits, Solutions

 Internal migration in India is constantly on the rise. Internal migration means the migration of population within the territories of the country.
Internal Migration in India
Image Source: Frontline
NSSO report says
  1. Unequal social and economic opportunities.
  2. Aspirations for higher social recognition
  3. Distress migration
  4. Climate Refugee
  5. Crave of urban lifestyle
  6. Lack of healthcare and education facilities in rural area
  7. Income during lean agri season
  8. Better infrastructure, mode of transport, standard of living
  9. Unavailability of jobs and increasingly non-profitable agriculture
  10. Lack of credit/irrigation facilities
  11. Better gender equality and opportunities for women
  12. The obligations of marriage, women migrate to their husband’s household


Migration Good or Bad?

Migration is generally a positive indicator for the economy.

  • Positive impacts:
    1. Towards equitable distribution of labour and funds
    2. Improvement of living conditions in rural area, healthcare, nutrition, education
    3. Cultural bonding and tolerance
    4. Improvement in social status of women, self-reliance
    5. Increase in per-capita land holdings

    In developed countries, migration is considered positive but in developing countries, large scale migration is often a mixed bag and indicators of growing socio-economic disparity:

  1. Most of the migration is distress migration.
  2. Indicates lack of opportunity and infrastructural breakdown at source
  3. Heavily overburdened urban centers. Only a few urban centers become destination in developing countries.
  4. Lack of skill causes unemployment even after migration
  5. often leads to increased crime
  6. Increase of slum area, overburdened civic amenities, non-congenial cities.
  7. Exploitation of migrants due to lack of structured policy for them
  8. Difficult for migrants to avail healthcare and other civic facilities
  9. Depopulation of rural area, lower agricultural labor force.

How to reap benefits of migration?

  • Reduce urban Burden
  1. Create better infrastructure in small towns and urban areas
  2. Promote industry in Tier-II and Tier III towns thus offloading from big-cities.
  3. Smart cities program should aid it
  • Improve employability in Rural areas
  1. Better irrigation facilities, subsidized fertilizers, sustainable agriculture, HY seeds to emigration hotspots.
  2. Focus on secondary economic activities in rural households like dairying
  3. Skill development centres so that migrants are more employable
  4. cottage industries, hortculture, floriculture, pisciculture
  5. MGNREGA continuance but emphasis on asset creation, improvement
  6. National Rural Livelihood Mission
  • Improve facilities at migration source
  1. Apart from distress migration, many migrate for better healthcare, education and infrastructure. mrove all of that
  2. Electricity, solar promotion for better standard of living
  3. Preserve forests for tribal population, although low migration rate
  4. PURA dream of Dr. APJ Kalam ca drastically reduce internal migration in India
  • Protect the rights of migrants
  1. Save migrants from exploitation, wage cuts, sexual exploitation thrugh NGOs, labour unions
  2. Registration process for migrants, create central database and share with destination state.
  3. Provide PDS scheme and govt healthcare facilitiies to migrants
  4. Enforce strict laws so that employers provide reasonable accommodation, sanitation and working conditions

MGNREGA and Internal Migration in India

  1. MGNREGA provides 100 days of guaranteed employment to all the adults of a household in rural areas
  2. Has substantially reduced distress migration, as per surveys and case studies
  3. Cannot prevent migration for growth, low wages
  4. Pressure on agriculture as unavailability of laborers. Though 2010-11 data suggests 70% of MGNREGA jobs provided during lean periods
  5. Able adult work force unavailable at rural centres, thus hampering the economic activities
  6. MGNREGA schemes attracting mostly women and old, unable or unwilling to migrate.
  7. Delay in payments has caused reversal of reduced migration

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