Lack of employment in rural areas forces rural dwellers to migrate to urban areas. However, is the life they get in the cities worth the migration?

In the west a mere 3%  if the population is involved in food production. It involves a precisely planned chain that is linked from production to consumption and involves cutting edge technology and market driven management tools. Unable to withstand the competition, smaller players had to leave the scene. But being less in number they were easily absorbed in manufacturing and service sectors.

slums in india 300x225 You Speak   Issue of Rural Urban Migration

Slum in India

In contrast Indian food production involves anything from 60-74% of the population. They include landless agriculture labor or share croppers. Labor demands in agriculture is seasonal and limited between 90-100 days per year and hence migration takes place to cities and industrial townships where earning opportunities exist . Cities and industrial townships when overcrowded extended into rural farmland. Pressure on farms by way of urbanization and industrialization is furthered by demand for more food from urban population. Emigration involves chiefly the males essentially the young and able bodied who  leave the aged and female folk behind.

While migrants settle in slums where life is unfamiliar; back home their families are left to live in low security perception. Slums that erupt in common property around factories are often built  around the factory effluence and are devoid of civic amenities. Five lakh migrants enter Delhi alone each year which holds nearly 50 lakh migrants in its slums. Migrants may carry diseases from one region to another. Slums become breeding grounds for pests, stray animals, hygiene related diseases, zoonosis (diseases spread from animal to man and vice-versa) and crimes like drug peddling. Better endowed and educated migrant job seekers find accommodated into high rise buildings, embracing a fast life style unfamiliar to them. With opportunities increasing in the “Virtual world” of electronics many flat dwellers get involved, leaving  them little time for socializing, personal interaction or indulgence.

By Prof (Dr.) Ramakumar,V.

Also See:
Slums, Poverty, Rising Rents And The Issue of ‘RIGHT TO THE CITY
India’s ‘Other’ Story.

Image Source: By erin from Evanston. (Asia’s Largest Slum – Dharavi.) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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