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