Accepted Paper:

Impact of seasonal migration on scheduled caste women: a study in Bargarh district of West Odisha, India  


Madan Biswal (Sambalpur University)

Paper short abstract:

During the lean season there is deficit of household economy which leads to seasonal migration. The SC women may stay back at home as their husband goes to the city to earn livelihood or she may also migrate along with her husband. The women faces problems such as adjustment problems, health hazards, etc.

Paper long abstract:

Odisha has a large number of migrant female labourers who leave their villages in search of livelihood. The underdeveloped agricultural economy which makes people unemployed in lean season creates deficit household economy which leads to natural disasters. Many women are forced to migrate periodically to move out in search of work. The process of migration has a differential impact on the scheduled caste women - whether they are left behind in the village in case their husbands migrate or in case they too migrate along with the males. Against this backdrop the paper tries to explore factors responsible for their migration from Bargarh district to various cities in search of employment. It also investigates the level of moral, physical and economic exploitation these women face. Relevant information have been collected through the methods of observation, interview schedule, focused group discussion and informal meeting from 120 respondents of six different villages of Bargarh district. The study reveals that laboures are away from their home for 6-8 months after Nuakhai. (a popular mass festival of West Odisha). Migrations begins around October-November which stretches over to six to eight months at the work sites. They return to their villages before the next monsoon. It is found that the women face adjustment problems, loss of status, health hazards, exploitation, lack of social network etc. Thus the migrant women fight on two battlefronts-dealing with hard labour throughout the day and with children when back at home.

Panel P035
Migration and urbanization: emerging situation in pluralistic societies (Commission on Urban Anthropology)