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Struggling to Save Cash: Seasonal Migration and Vulnerability in West Bengal, India
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 17:23 authored by Ben RogalyBen Rogaly, Abdur Rafique
This article concerns an important but overlooked means by which able-bodied poor people get hold of lump sums of cash in rural West Bengal: seasonal migration for agricultural wage work. Drawing on a regional study of four migration streams, our main focus here is on the struggle to secure this cash by landless households in just one of those streams, originating in Murshidabad District. Case studies are used to illustrate the importance for women in nuclear families of maintaining supportive networks of kin for periods when men are absent. A parallel analysis is made of the negotiations between male migrant workers and their employers, at labour markets, during the period of work, and afterwards. The article then briefly discusses some of the contrasting ways in which remittances are used by landless households and owners of very small plots of land, in the context of rapid ecological change, demographic pressure and growing inequality.
JournalDevelopment and Change
Department affiliated with
- Geography Publications
NotesLead author; based on DFID-funded interdisciplinary project, with Rogaly PI.
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