This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

From Bharat To India: Understanding Rural-Urban Migration [RESEARCH]

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Women and children have a crucial role to play. According to a report by International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) India ranks 11th in top 20 “hot spot” countries for child marriages in the world, with 50 percent of girls less than 18 being married. Human trafficking and abduction top the list of crimes committed in the country. According to Child Rights Trust, 50 percent of women between 15 to 49 years of age suffer from anemia in India. According to WHO report, 43.5 percent of children under five are underweight.

Even today, female foeticide and infanticide are prevalent in many parts of India. Girls are sold to agents from different states in the guise of marriage and prostituted. Schemes like the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) offer services to mother and child in every village through anganwadis. Child labour is still practiced on a large scale in our country. Most of the rag pickers are women and children. For example: In an article ‘Invisible environmentalists’, Kalpana Sharma states that “women and children do the more hazardous jobs of sorting and separating the waste, the men deal with the dry garbage.

As a result, it is the women who are exposed to hazardous waste – none of them wear any kind of protective gear”. She calls them “silent environmentalists” because they work during the night when the whole country sleeps and are landless, homeless and sleep on the roads. She also mentions an example of how a 15-year-old rag picker and a woman were buried under a heap of garbage dump in Jawaharnagar on the outskirts of Hyderabad. This also brings out a point about gender sensitization in our country. Crimes against women and children are on the rise every second.

While this is the status of women and children, education is another aspect one has to concentrate on. The Right To Education (RTE) act that came into force last year made it compulsory for every child to get free education between 6 to 14 years of age. The government sees this as an achievement of its own. However, what matters is the quality of education. Government schools in villages do not have enough teachers. In some schools, one teacher teaches many subjects irrespective of whether she knows the subject or not.

The poor do not have enough money to send their kids to the school. For example: The kids in the border areas of the state face problems with the language because the schools in Karnataka-AP border areas like Bagepalli are Kannada medium ones, but the local language is Telugu. On the other hand, the schools in the cities demand high fee, and therefore, impart better quality of education. Unemployment is another section one has to explore about. Even the ones who are educated do not have jobs.

Forty million people in India are unemployed. India has the largest share of illiterate women in the world. The literacy rate (defined as those age 15 and over that can read and write) is 65.5% for males and 37.7% for females. (Source)

Even environment is one of the most significant areas one has to talk about when it comes to rural to urban migration. In the name of environmental sustainability, entire rural set-up is being destroyed. This can be further categorized into two sections: Farming and land grabbing.

Farming has been major occupation in India. But, in the past decade, 200,000 farmers’ deaths were reported. With this came food crisis, food inflation and “agrarian crisis” as if they are new schemes introduced in the country. A recent report by P. Sainath on farmer suicides stated that the past six years recorded the worst number i.e. 17,036 farmer suicides. Crop failure due to the entry of GM crops, less rainfall or floods or drought, infertile soil, soil erosion and many other aspects have take a toll on the lives of people in rural areas. (click here, read more)

You must be to comment.
  1. Anirudh Nimmagadda

    Your capacity for research astounds me: the bevy of facts and figures you quoted in this article could only have been gathered through some serious effort.

    I am, however, less than impressed with the reasoning employed to reach the conclusion that our Prime Minister is ‘wrong’, and that rural-urban migration is not ‘ideal’ (few things ever are…). Having read the whole of your article multiple times, I am led to believe that you are arguing against rural-urban migration, since you think the benefits of living in urban areas may not trickle down to the ‘emigrants’. You also state that this migration will result in the ‘destruction’ of agriculture in India (how?), which, in my opinion, is hyperbole.
    If I am mistaken in my presumptions, I apologize, and the rest of my comment may be disregarded.

    Now, you have mentioned health (and affiliated factors such as hunger), poverty, illiteracy, ineffectiveness of law, etc. as contributing to the reaching of your conclusion, but, it is not at all clear from your article why the living standards of rural folk will be degraded on moving to cities.
    I would like to comment on each of these factors, in turn:
    1. Health
    You do an excellent job apprising us of the pathetic healthcare situation in rural areas, but tell us that the inhabitants of these areas will be better off sticking to village life, since they will be unable to afford the healthcare services provided in cities.
    To me, this seems a problem that is not very difficult to solve. The reduction in rural population should allow the government to divert some of the funds currently being spent on rural healthcare to sponsor medical services for the urban poor. A similar argument could be put forth for related issues such as food and water, which are more in more plentiful supply in cities than in villages. In fact, this might actually be on the mind of our PM, who is also a perspicacious economist.
    2. Poverty
    Your statements about the irregularity of income from agrarian production units, and how the poor migrate hoping to find more rewarding work, militate against your argument. While the ‘emigrants’ may not immediately be able to find a job, let us not forget that there is no income security in rural areas either.
    3. Illiteracy
    You write that while the quality of education in government schools leaves a lot to be desired, private schools are expensive, and cannot be afforded by the poor. However, it does not follow from this that poor families will be better off staying in villages. Hoping that government schools as they are will attract better teachers is, in my opinion, wishful thinking. Children of poor families would likely benefit more from government sponsored education at private schools in urban areas, since an average, but well-educated child is more employable than an extremely bright, but poorly educated one.
    4. Ineffectiveness of law
    It is true that the various crimes you have mentioned (infanticide, female foeticide, human trafficking, and abduction) are prevalent in India. But, while human trafficking and abduction are crimes arising from greed for money, or depravity, the others are crimes arising from a lack of awareness of the irrationality of certain traditions, and can be eradicated by educating those that adhere to them. This is more likely to happen in the dynamic environment that cities provide, than in idyllic villages. Further, perpetrators of such crimes are more likely to be brought to book in cities than anywhere else.

    In conclusion, I would reiterate that rural-urban migration is actually desirable. India’s rural population is ridiculously and unnecessarily large, and there are too few opportunities for gainful employment in rural India. While there are undeniably a few horror stories of unfortunate men and women who have been through trying times upon migrating to cities, these are more the exception rather than the rule. Over time, rural-urban migration will result in increased standards of living for all who choose to make the leap.

  2. Vijay Khadakbhavi

    very good

  3. nhat

    where are your sources ?

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Aheed

By Sushil Kuwar

By Sushil Kuwar

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below