Uttarakhand has witnessed one of the worse migrations in the previous 2 decades.
the interesting thing is –underDevelopment of hills and huge migration was one of the biggest reasons for the formation of Uttarakhand; in the Development aspect, we have seen growth but in the Migration issue, we have gone in the far opposite direction.
people in the mountains migrate to cities like — Dehradun, Haridwar, Roorkee because of Employment opportunities(the most dominating reason), and also because of unsustainable Farming in the mountains, inadequate health facilities, higher studies, and following the footsteps of peers and relatives.
in this Context, Pusha Devi says: “What outsiders fail to see is that villages are communities and work only as communities. If even a third of the village is gone, it becomes difficult for the rest to stay back and put the pieces back together,”
Statistics of Migration
As per Census 2011, Uttarakhand 1053 out of 16793 villages have no inhabitants left.
In an interview with PTI, S S Negi (the Vice President of Uttarakhand Rural Development and Migration Commission), says In just seven years, as many as 734 villages have become Ghost villages ( not a single person lives there).
Almora (47%) & Pauri Garhwal (34%) have witnessed the largest percentage of migration.
The root Problem of Migration
Agriculture has been one of the important backbones of the rural economy in the Mountains, it’s the major source of income for the Pahari people.
interestingly, the District of Dehradun, Haridwar and Nainital have seen a large number of migrants from different districts of Uttarakhand; with one exception “Uttarkashi”.
Vijaypal Rawat says “The only reason Uttarkashi and our valley of Ravai have not witnessed the kind of migration seen in other hill districts is that farming is still popular among the youth”
issue with Farming in mountains
- lack of irrigation facilities and water management programs.
- which results depletion in water table
- PC Tiwari ( professor of geography at kumaun University) says: ” 37 per cent of the natural springs that contribute to the Ganga river system are rapidly drying up. the never ending streams have now become rain-fed streams and several rain-fed streams have dried up“
- unstable weather pattern turning the land barren.
- farming in mountains has seen decline due to extreme sucess welfare schemes like – MGNERGA
- experts says — “Farming in Uttarakhand has traditionally been sustenance agriculture. But now farmers work under MGNREGA and use the money to buy food which is available at very low costs after the enforcement of the Food Security Act”
- the more than 50% labour in Farming could not fetch minimum wage
- increase in human-animal conflicts
Urbanisation simply means, when people from rural areas migrate to cities like( Dehradun) , in order to seek better opportunities or a better standard of life.
Nowadays in Uttarakhand, a large percentage of migration is taking place in tehsils, district headquarters or State capital (Dehradun); abandoning the village.
expert says: “People used to migrate to Delhi and Mumbai between 1960-80. However, a lot of internal migration has taken place since 2000“
and the reason is obvious, Uttarakhand is one of the fastest-growing states among hilly regions and in the country. with the major IT companies, factories, Startups, investments via FDI concentrated in cities like(Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital).
where the job opportunity emerges, more and more private state of art service sector emerges, from Colleges to specialized Hospitals to Sports academies.
thereby more and more people tend to migrate to cities.
this leads most of the villages directly dependent on cities like(Dehradun, Haridwar & Nainital).
such type of growth, which is restricted to only plain cities of the state, is an alarming sign to the future of Uttarakhand.
Thanks to the Government initiatives & policies like —
- a bill to push revitalisation of barren agricultural landholdings
- idea of cooperative farming
- water management schemes
- rural empolyment generating schemes
- encouraging rural Startups
are helping check the alarming migration control,
I will discuss the long term solution taken by the government in detail, soon.
till then what is your view on migration do comment, any of your good points will be appreciated and added in the article.
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