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

Articles By Migrants

Perceived Economic Well-being among Rural Indian Households

The Census 2011 estimated the presence of 450 million internal migrants in India, which is an increase of 45% over the Census 2001. As a corollary, the domestic flow of remittances has seen a significant rise. This paper aims to understand how this financial support affects the perceived economic well-being of households in rural India. The analysis shows that the recipient family’s estimation of their economic status improved dramatically after receiving these payments. It discusses the importance of frequency of receiving the remittances in order to understand the impact on the economic sentiment. For households who got continuous payments over the study period, the effect is positive and appears to be stronger.

Housing for Migrant Workers

With there being almost no housing policies for lower income migrant workers in the country, Kerala has attempted to address this problem by introducing a state-level housing policy called Apna Ghar. This article examines the policy’s effectiveness by exploring the “housing–work” relation in the existing housing sub-markets in Kerala’s Ernakulam district, in which the residential typologies inhabited by such worker groups are examined as to their economic affordability, service/amenities adequacy, workplace accessibility and ease of renting/shifting habitations.

Pandemic Conversations: Gender, Marginalities, and COVID-19

We do not know if we live in a world any more risky than those of earlier generations. It is not the quantity of risk, but the quality of control or—to be more precise—the known uncontrollability of the consequences of civilisational decisions, that makes the historical difference. Therefore, I use the term “manufactured uncertainties.” The institutionalised expectation of control, even the leading ideas of “certainty” and “rationality” are collapsing. …the main difference between the premodern culture of fear and the second modern culture of fear is: in premodernity the dangers and fears could be attributed to gods or God or nature and the promise of modernity was to overcome those threats by more modernisation and more progress—more science, more market economy, better and new technologies, safety standards, etc. In the age of risk, the threats we are confronted with cannot be attributed to God or nature but to “modernisation” and “progress” itself. Thus, the culture of fear derives from the paradoxical fact that the institutions that are designed to control produced uncontrollability. 

Ulrich Beck, On Fear and Risk Society, Interview with Joshua J Yates, the Hedgehog Review

Precarious Transitions: Mobility and Citizenship in a Rising Power

Over the summer of 2020, millions of migrants streamed out of Indian cities in the wake of the ill-planned lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 March 2020. The most conservative estimates suggest 30 million internal migrants in India (Ministry of Finance, Government of India 2018: 267). More realistic estimates peg the numbers at 140 million (Rajan et al 2020). If even half the most conservative figures are trekking back home, we are likely to be witness to the forced migration of at least 15 million people criss-crossing the country to get back to their homes. These numbers most likely dwarf the migrations wrought by the partition, estimated between 10 and 12 million people. At a time, millions have been cut adrift by the Indian state, we need to urgently reflect on what it means to be a citizen.

Fighting Fires: Migrant Workers in Mumbai

Migrant workers in one of Mumbai’s most industrially dense areas with 3,500 small manufacturing and recycling units face a number of hazards, with fires being among the common ones. This article looks closely at the causes and aftermaths of these fires and notes how the workers cope with them even as their skills and knowledge prevent even bigger accidents.