Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Socio-Economic and demographic consequences of migration in Kerala

Contents:

Author Info

  • K.C. Zachariah

    (Centre for Development Studies)

  • E.T. Mathew

    (Centre for Development Studies)

  • S. Irudaya Rajan

    (Centre for Development Studies)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Migration has been the single most dynamic factor in the otherwise dreary development scenario of Kerala in the last quarter of the past century. Migration has contributed more to poverty alleviation and reduction in unemployment in Kerala than any other factor. As a result of migration, the proportion of population below the poverty line has declined by 12 per cent. The number of unemployed persons - estimated to be only about 13 lakhs in 1998 as against 37 lakhs reported by the Employment Exchanges - has come down by more than 30 per cent. Migration has caused nearly a million married women in Kerala to live away from their husbands. Most of these women, the so-called "Gulf wives" had experienced extreme loneliness to begin with; but they got increasingly burdened with added family responsibilities with the handling of which they had little acquaintance so long as their husbands were with them. But over a period of time, and with a helping hand from abroad over the ISD, most of them came out of their feeling of desolateness. Their sense of autonomy, independent status, management skills and experience in dealing with the world outside their homes - all developed the hard way - would remain with them for the rest of their lives for the benefit of their families and the society at large. In the long-run, the transformation of these one million women would have contributed more to the development of Kerala society than all the temporary euphoria created by foreign remittances and the acquisition of modern gadgetry. Kerala is becoming too much dependant on migration for employment, sustenance, housing, household amenities, institution building, and many other developmental activities. The inherent danger of such dependence is that migration could stop abruptly as was shown by the Kuwait war experience of 1990 with disastrous repercussions for the state. Understanding migration trends and instituting policies to maintain the flow of migration at an even keel is more important today than at any time in the past. Kerala workers seem to be losing out in the international competition for jobs in the Gulf market. Corrective policies are urgently needed to raise their competitive edge over workers in the competing countries in the South and the South East Asia. Like any other industry, migration needs periodic technological up-gradation of the workers. Otherwise, there is the danger that Kerala might lose the Gulf market forever. The core of the problem is the Kerala worker's inability to compete with expatriates from other South and South Asian countries. The solution naturally lies in equipping our workers with better general education and job training. This study suggests a two-fold approach - one with a long-term perspective and the other with a short-term perspective. In the short-run, the need is to improve the job skills of the prospective emigrant workers. This is better achieved through ad hoc training programmes focussed on the job market in the Gulf countries. In the long-run, the need is to restructure the whole educational system in the state taking into consideration the future demand for workers not only in Kerala but also in the potential destination countries all over the world, including the USA and other developed countries. Kerala emigrants need not always be construction workers in the Gulf countries; they could as well be software engineers in the developed countries.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.cds.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/wp303.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India in its series Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers with number 303.

    as in new window
    Length: 63 pages
    Date of creation: May 2000
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ind:cdswpp:303

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Peasanth Nagar, Trivandrum 695 011, Kerala
    Phone: +91 471 2448 881
    Fax: +91 471 2447 137
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.cds.edu
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: Kerala; emigration; return migration; remittances; gender; demography; elderly;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ind:cdswpp:303. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamprasad M. Pujar).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.