(Info) Migration in Bundelkhand

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Bundelkhand

Migration in Bundelkhand

Figures in the last row of the table in 2002 BPL Survey Data indicate that 50% to 70% of rural households across Bundelkhand's districts have at least one member who migrates annually or has migrated permanently.

The data also indicates that apart from permanent or semi-permanent migrants, working adults of 30% to 50% of the region's rural households migrate every year, seeking casual or seasonal employment.

Whereas the proportion of casual labour migrants is much higher than that of migrants seeking seasonal employment in UP Bundelkhand, the situation is the reverse in MP Bundelkhand.

The highest annual migration appears to occur in Tikamgarh and Damoh districts, and the overall highest proportion of migration is from Chitrakoot.

Actual number of migrants obviously varies across villages according to factors like quality of local land, availability of irrigation water, and agriculture and non-agriculture employment opportunities available in the village, or neighbouring villages.

Analysis of field studies shows that the first important 'determinant' of migration is size of land owned [Deshingkar]. The more the land a household owns, the less likely any member will migrate.

However, small and marginal farmers have a slightly higher chance of migrating compared to households with practically no land. Perhaps this is because the first category of families has the resources to hire labour and thus release family labour for more lucrative outside work. In other words, in normal conditions, the poorest of the poor are unlikely to migrate. Families with extra hands are more likely to migrate.

As a rule, only men migrate when they possess the skills required in the work destination, or when migration is a relatively new activity for the community. As the 'migration stream' becomes more established, women accompany their husbands, In some tribal villages, the female migrants outnumber males.

Among all social groups, scheduled tribes (STs), followed by scheduled castes (SCs), are more likely to migrate than people from any other group.

This is clearly seen in 2002 BPL survey data, which show that whereas 47% of Banda district's rural households reported casual or seasonal migration, among SC families, the proportion was 51%. In Panna, the incidence of casual or seasonal migration was 49% among all rural households and 63% among ST households. (See tables in 2002 BPL Survey Data and Poverty among SC and ST rural households in Bundelkhand).

Members of landed Thakur and educated Brahmin households also migrate, but their reasons for leaving the village are opportunistic - driven by the desire to have a better life. But for people from SC and ST groups, migration is usually an unavoidable 'coping strategy', driven simply by the need to survive.

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Courtesy : bundelkhandinfo.org