ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Jhuma BiswasSubscribe to Jhuma Biswas

Seasonal Migration, Social Change and Migrants' Rights

People who migrate temporarily for manual work are not usually unionised and are often unprotected by effective legislation against travel and workplace risks. All this is true of West Bengal, where migrant workers employed in rice cultivation have made crucial contributions to the agricultural successes of the last two decades. West Bengal's gangs of mobile rice workers are recruited directly by individual employers at busy labour market places or in migrants' home villages. This paper summarises the findings of recent empirical research on the scale and pattern of seasonal migration for rice work in West Bengal. It analyses the causes and consequences of the migration, including its relation to ongoing social change in four source areas.
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