Accepted Paper:

Forgotten youth of an unseen region: the daily struggle for existence of the periurban youth of Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, India  


Baiju Thankachan (Indian Institute of Technology)

Paper short abstract:

Paper is on the lost identity of the youth in this undefined region of periurban Sriperumbudur near Chennai, India. It looks on how this lack of identity and has dragged the youth in a world of crises and uncertainty and how they respond and cope with these situations in different ways.

Paper long abstract:

You ask them where they belong; you get answers that make one confused, they belong everywhere, to rural, urban, and adopt styles and livelihoods of both. To an outsider, they are careless, stubborn and rebellious, but sit a while and the words that pour out make one helpless of the plight these youth undergo. Hundreds of youth are seen walking around aimlessly with degrees, and technical skills that those who have taken off their identity do not value. They hold certificates of uncertainty and loss of identity and certain identity that strips them of their livelihood and existence. A mere 40 km away from Chennai, India's fourth largest city, is located an industrial town, Sriperumbudur with thousands of people living in an around less identified periurban region, the spatial identity of which is little known, nor specially recognized or the loss of socio, economic, and geographical identities have ever been paid attention. With booming corporate industries around these invisible confused lives, who are no way beneficiaries of the development expansions, rather are exploited of their land, labour, culture and most of all identity. It is a daily war of struggle between where they belong without an identity to still a world of uncertainty they could be rooted out by bypassing developments. In this paper, I look at how the bypassed youth feels to live, respond and cope in a world lacking spatial identity, amidst mounting uncertainty of periurban of Sriperumbudur, Chennai, India, a process snare they are trapped in.

Panel N2
New geographies and imaginaries of work in the Global South