50% of Bihar households exposed to migration: study
PATNA: If you believe in a recent study conducted by (IIPS), more than half of households are exposed to more developed places inside or outside the country and most households depend on remittances for their livelihood.
The report of the IIPS-sponsored study project, Causes and Consequences of Migration from the Middle Plain of the Ganges, was published jointly by IIPS Director KS James and State Education Minister Krishnandan Prasad Verma on Thursday. .
The survey, which covered 36 villages and 2,270 households, reveals that migration from the region is selective for men without families. The greatest migration occurs in the traditional migration foci of Saran, Munger, Darbhanga, Kosi, Tirhut and Purnia. Seasonal migration is highest in the divisions of Kosi, Tirhut and Purnia. Migration is higher from other caste groups followed by OBC, SC and ST.
The middle plain of the Ganges covers 64 districts east of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Historically, migration from this region dates back to the first quarter of the 19th century. Due to persistent widespread poverty and development, migration from this region continued even after Independence and remained mainly limited to the developed western states of the country. Recently, this region also showed a significant increase in the trend of international migration to Gulf destinations. The continuation of the two-century-old association between migration and poverty has led to the culture of migration in Middle Ganga Plain, according to the study.
Migration has been observed to be higher for the landless group and nuclear families in Bihar. The average age of migrants is 32 years. Eighty percent of migrants have no land or have less than an acre of land and 85% of them have passed Class X. Ninety percent of migrants work in private factories or as occasional workers. The average shipment of a migrant is Rs 26,020 in Bihar and Rs 38,061 in eastern Uttar Pradesh per year.
Regarding the situation of women in the local homes of migrants, 47% of women know how to read and write and 22% of them work for a salary. The majority of women abandoned in Bihar live in a nuclear family. Three-fourths of the remaining women communicate daily with their husband via mobile. Only 29% of women are members of self-help groups and 80% of women have their own bank accounts.
Wives of both migrants and non-migrants feel that the economic situation, lifestyle, autonomy, education and health of children improve after the migration of their husbands.
Seasonal migration is more prevalent in Bihar, since 90% of seasonal migrants are from Bihar. While 31% of Bihar emigrated to Punjab, 27% of UP emigrated to Maharshtra. Nearly 46% of seasonal migrants bring cash at the end of the month and 48% operate through the banking system, the study reveals.
The study also reveals that 75% of migrants perceived an improvement in family income, family ties and social status after their return. Up to 25% of them want to migrate again, while two-thirds would encourage their children to migrate for employment, the study concludes.
The coordinators of the K C Das and R B Bhagat project, both of the IIPS, observed that the most important result of the migration is the remittance that influences the development process and brings changes in the consumption pattern and lifestyle of the individual.
Remittances result in an increase in the wealth of the family and the consequent improvement in education and nutrition of household members and greater use of hospital facilities in times of illness of family members, they said.