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‘Improved Livelihoods In Improved Watersheds: Can Migration Be Mitigated?’ in ‘Watershed Management Challenges:Improving Productivity, Resources and Livelihoods’

Book/book chapter

There is compelling evidence from all over India that the temporary migration of labourers (especially rural-urban) is on the increase. While many poor people perceive migration as an opportunity because they can tap remunerative labour markets, the mainstream view remains rather negative and many rural development programmes aim to reduce migration. An important objective of Watershed Development (WSD) programmes has been to reduce rural-urban migration. This paper synthesises the available evidence to show that the relationship between migration and WSD is complex and depends on a variety of factors ranging from rural-urban wage differences, personal aspirations and education levels. It argues that more empirical research is urgently needed in this area. The paper concludes that policy makers should be prepared to face increasing migration levels and embrace accumulative migration as a valid livelihood strategy that can be combined with WSD efforts to create win-win situations for the poor and overall economic development.

Priya Deshingkar