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New report captures the challenges of migration and potential solutions

NEWS

By GV News Desk

22 June 2019

A joint study report by Gram Vikas and CMID details the challenges and solutions for safe migration of labour from Odisha to Kerala.

Migration has been a key survival strategy for millions of rural poor from the Indian state Odisha, with a poverty ratio of 32.6 per cent in 2011. Thuamul Rampur, with the largest proportion of Scheduled Tribes and the lowest level of literacy among the Community Development Blocks in Kalahandi district, has been witnessing large-scale, long-distance labour migration of young men, particularly to the southern Indian states. 

As part of understanding and addressing the livelihood challenges, Gram Vikas in partnership with the Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development (CMID) conducted qualitative research during May 2019 to understand the challenges of the labour migrants from Thuamul Rampur and their families left behind.

The joint report, ‘Challenges of Migrants and Families Left Behind: Insights from Thuamul Rampur, India,’ found that migrant remittances of ₹ 30-40 crore have transformed Thuamul Rampur in Kalahandi district of Odisha, which was ‘once dubbed as hell’. For instance, Puruna Majhi who works as a cook in a restaurant, in Kerala, earns ₹20,000 a month. The auto-rickshaw he bought in 2017 from his savings not only brings him additional income and but also provides employment to another villager.  

However, economic benefits notwithstanding, migration posed its own unique challenges for the men, their wives, mothers and village elders. 

The study recommended solutions that can substantially bring down the hurdles faced by the migrants and the left-behind family members.

  • Addressing the connectivity barriers 
  • Evolving innovative and low-cost solutions for receiving the remittances
  • Formulating comprehensive and evidence-informed programmes to facilitate safe and orderly migration of the youth
  • Leveraging source-destination collaborations 

Watch the videos capturing the study findings and migrant testimonials. 

Rama Majhi works in a fuel station in Kerala, earning Rs. 12,000 per month. His wife runs the small grocery shop they set up in the village a year ago from their savings.

Photograph by Gokul Govind R

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