Migration Essay Introduction

The term migration refers to the movement of population from one place to another. It may be of temporary or permanent type.

Temporary migra­tions may be annual, seasonal or even of a shorter duration, like daily. Commutation is the term used for daily movement of people between city and its surrounding towns or villages. Migration is not merely a reallocation of human resources but is a process which has three-fold impact: (a) on the area experiencing immigration, (b) on the area experienc­ing out-migration, and (c) on the migrants them­selves, The purpose of migration may be employ­ment, business, education, family movement, mar­riage, calamity, etc.

According to 1991 Census about 30-40 per cent of migration is due to economic reasons, especially for seeking employment. Migra­tion is the net result of the combined effects of push factors of the area from where people migrate and the pull effect of the area to which they migrate. In India the rural areas suffering from poverty, unem­ployment and excessive population-growth produce push effects from where rural youths, in large number, migrate to mega cities and industrial towns which have pulling effects due to more employment oppor­tunities, greater prosperity and better conditions for sustenance.

There are four streams of migration: (a) rural to rural, (b) rural to urban, (c) urban to urban, and (d) urban to rural. In India rural to urban migration is very significant. Sometimes there is migration from village to small town and later from small town to city. Such migration is called step-wise migration.

In India there is massive rural to urban migra­tion towards metropolitan cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai etc to seek employment and better their economic prospects. Majority of these mi­grants are illiterate or semi-literate and unskilled peasants and labourers who are compelled to leave their village home due to poverty and unemploy­ment. Since most of our cities have very limited employment generating capacity under capital-in- tensile industrialization and very limited absorptive capacity in the organized sector, these migrants find salvage only in informal sector, such as, porters, domestic servants, hawkers, vendors, construction workers, etc.

Since these migrants have little skill or training they are mostly absorbed in low-grade processing activities, indigenous transport, petty trade, or low-grade services. Very few are in admin­istrative, professional or technical services. Condi­tion of women migrants, although small, are more precarious, greater proportion of them are illiterate or semi-literate and are compelled to take up still lower kinds of jobs, as domestic maid servants, hawkers or vendors (Mukerji, 1990 and 1995).Mukerji has termed this phenomenon of urban growth as 'evolutionary urbanization' (Mukerji, 1991, pp. 203-249).

It has led to the cancerous growth of shanty towns, slums, bastees and squatter settlements, overflow of urban unemployment, digres­sion of per capita consumption levels of daily neces­sities (food, clothing, shelter), and a very sharp decline of basic human values in extremely con­gested Indian metropolises that have been speedily occurring over 1981 -99 and which will accelerate in 21st century (Mukerji, 2000, p. 16). Because of this unchecked influx India's mega cities and metropo­lises are growing as a over-blown villages, without essential urban functions, characteristics, urban in­frastructure and services, and without a strong eco­nomic base. This phenomenon is similar to urban decay and degeneration.

Urban areas, in India, not only attract poor and illiterate class of people from villages but also provide opportunity to educated and elite class to better their economic lots and lead a more comfort­able life. Many students from rural areas, who go to towns and cities for their higher education, get employment in urban areas and become part and parcel of city life. Big landlords and rich farmers have shown keen interest in investing agricultural profits in urban areas especially to business and commercial activities. Hence, cities, in developing countries like India, are growing at the plunder of rural resources (both natural and human). Unless this exploitative trend is counter-acted the revival of the villages is a distant dream.

Most of the international migrants to India are coming from Asian countries, followed by Europe­ans, Africans, etc. The neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Russia etc. have contributed large number of migrants to India. Since there is no restriction along Indo-Nepal international boundary large number of Nepali people come to India for seeking employment, education, business etc. Assam, West Bengal and north eastern states attract large number of legal and ill-1 gal migrants from Bangladesh.

This has created a number of social, economic and political problems in these areas. Nepalese are seen in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi. Similarly migrants from Sri Lanka are most frequented in South India especially in Tamil Nadu. Concentration of Arab nationals in the western states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Daman and Diu and Kerala is mainly due to the proximity. Migrants from many African countries come to India to seek higher education and training.

Inter-State Migration

An interesting feature of internal migration in India is that the volume of inter-state migration is smaller than the intra-state migration. During 1981 28.40 per cent belonged to the rural to rural stream, 32.83 per cent to rural to urban, 31.60 per cent to the urban to urban, and 7.17 per cent to the urban to rural streams. Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, West Bengal and Delhi have a higher number of inter-state migrants in their urban areas. This is mainly due to the higher rate of urbanisation, industrialisation and mining activities in these areas.

The urban centers of Lakshadweep, Dadra, Nagar Haveli and Arunachal Pradesh have nearly 100 per cent outside population. This shows that long distance inter-state migration is generally urban oriented. A noticeable feature of this migration is the deficiency of females.

In inter-state migration while there is decline in the percentage share of rural to rural migration between 1971 and 1991 remaining three streams have recorded appreciable increase.

Both male and female components in the rural to rural stream of inter-state migrants have wit­nessed decline during 1971-81. The rural to urban stream, on the other hand, has registered increase, although on a small scale. Similarly the urban to urban and urban to rural streams have registered increase between 1 and 3 per cent in both male and female components.

Intra-State Migration

The migration of the people from one part of state to another (i.e., within the state) is called intra­state migration. Here an overwhelming proportion (69.33) percent) belonged to the rural to rural stream. On the other hand only 9.1 per cent came under the urban to urban stream. About 15.7 per cent of the intra-state migrants moved from rural to urban areas, while 5.83 percent moved in the reverse direction (from urban to rural). Some 73 per cent of the total intra-state migrants were females which were due to marriage. About three-fourth of these female migrants belonged to the rural stream.

Movement to rural areas generally does not involve the whole family. As the work is low paying, hence, migrants cannot afford to keep their families in native places and support them by remittances. But in case of urban areas families do join the migrants when their income becomes reasonable. Nuclear and incomplete families are becoming com­mon in urban centers in recent days.

A comparison of 1971 and 1991 Census data shows that the proportion of rural to rural migrants has declined by 5.49 per cent. On the other hand, urban to urban stream has registered an increase of 2.63 per cent during the same period.

Above analysis shows that the migration pat­tern in India is very complex. This complexity is increasing due to development in the means of trans­port and communication. The urban population domi­nates in case of inter-state migration, while it is rural in intra-state case.

About three-fourths of all mi­grants in the intra-state category were women. Rajasthan, U.P., Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala are the states dominated by out-migration, while Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Chandigarh and Andaman-Nicobar attract in-migrants. Unequal eco­nomic development appears to be the main cause for migration. There is a need for removing these dis­parities in development and also provide minimum basic amenities for migrants in the cities.


Human migration

Human beings move from one place to another over long or short distances, searching for places to settle either temporarily or permanently. People that migrate do so individually, as families or in large groups. Human migration can be traced back 1.75 million years ago, when the Homo erectus began moving out of their settlements in Africa and spreading to Australia, Asia and finally to the Americas.

In the present day, people engage in different forms of movement. Internal migration is the travel within a country, external migration is when individuals move to different countries or continents, while emigration is leaving one country for another. Additionally, immigration is the type of movement whereby a person moves to a new country while return migration is moving back to one’s place of origin. Seasonal migration is the movement precipitated by various seasons such as climatic conditions or in search for employment.

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Classification of migrant individuals is into three. Firstly, an emigrant is a person who leaves their country and settles in another country. Secondly, an immigrant is a person who moves to a new country and makes it their new home while a refugee is a person that escapes problems in their country and seeks refuge in another.

People move from their homes to other nations or areas due to push and pull factors. Pull factors are motivations that attract people to move to other countries. Firstly, migrants move to industrialized countries in search of employment opportunities, which translate to a source of income. Secondly, the movement to other countries is to have higher standards of living, proper medical care and intensified security Also, to further their education. Social factors also pull people to a country. For instance, the United States and Argentina have instituted laws that have facilitated the accepting and legalization of lifestyles of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender community among others. People that subscribe to this community in countries that are intolerant often migrate to them.

The push factors make individuals leave one country to another. First, poverty elicits movement of people as they search for avenues to escape the economic hardships such as employment, better life, and prosperity from their way of life. Social factors such as racism, sexism and religious persecution push migrants to move. Countries that treat people unjustly because they are of different ethnic groups or due to their religious beliefs tend to make people leave the country. Additionally, lack of tolerance for individuals deemed different from others due to their sexual orientation drives such citizens to other countries.

Political issues arising from defiance of government rules, war and oppression cause political instability. Consequently, if a government fails in controlling a country and war breaks out people try their best to escape these conditions and migrate to other nations. Government oppression of people’s rights through election rigging, dictatorial leadership and corruption also elicit migration.

Human migration poses benefits and disadvantages to the country of origin and the host country. The country of origin benefits from revenue remitted by migrants, enjoy decreased pressure toward their resources, the need to support more citizens or to create jobs. Moreover, they benefit from acquired skills from migrants who learn or work in other countries upon their return.  However, they suffer a reduction in the workforce, loss of taxpayers, brain drain and gender imbalance, as more men tend to depart leaving women and children. On the other hand, the host country benefits from a diversity of culture and people that bring forth enrichment of their societies and increased cheap labor. The host country though suffers overcrowding, increased burden to provide the basic needs and lingering religious and cultural differences.


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