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‘Labour Migration and Policy Reform in Orissa’ in ‘Finding Pathways: Social Inclusion in Rural Development’ (edited by Smita Premchander, Sudin K, Peter Reid)

Book/book chapter

Priya Deshingkar's paper discusses the issues of migrant labour in India with a central focus on Orissa. The paper draws heavily from the situation persisting in Orissa and discusses the nature of migration in Western and coastal Orissa. The paper highlights the need for better collection of data, which presently underestimates the extent of the migration. It calls for a shared understanding of the “distress migration” phenomenon among various agencies. The paper presents some examples where state governments and civil society initiatives have enabled the seasonal migrants who are excluded from almost all services and assets, to access some basic services. The paper cautions against excessive focus on ‘distress migration’, which might distract attention from the issues that lead to exclusion of seasonal migrant workers. The paper recommends a few instruments that, if implemented, could enable the migrant families to access basic services.

Priya Deshingkar