Migration from Agricultural Land in Barpeta to Waste-land in Lucknow: A Struggle for Livelihood

By Roli Misra

Migration influences the society, polity, geography, culture, demography and economy in different ways and degrees. From the global macro level to the rural micro level via nation-states and other politico-spatial formations it exerts influence at all levels. This paper is based on the field survey conducted in two cities i.e., Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh (the destination) and Barpeta in Assam (the source). The experiences from the field survey demonstrate that people from a particular religious minority from rural Barpeta have been migrating since last two decades to Lucknow and they have found their livelihoods in waste. It is a kind of long distance rural-urban migration. There are mixed reasons to migrate. Hence, it is a kind of complex yet interesting situation where a certain linguistic community has migrated to a distant land, chosen to indulge in a menial job and the state is indifferent to include them in mainstream development policies because of their contested identities.

Keywords: Migration, Identity, Bangladesh, Assam, Bodo, Waste- picker, Lucknow, Barpeta

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