ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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On the Margins in the City

Seasonal labour migration has become an irreversible part of the livelihoods of rural adivasi communities in western India. This article examines the nature, experience and implications of such migration primarily to major urban centres for construction work. It goes on to suggest why those institutions mandated to protect vulnerable informal workers - labour departments, unions and the law - have largely failed to do so, and how in consequence adivasi migrants depend for their welfare upon agents, brokers and contractors who are also their most intimate exploiters. Finally the article suggests how adivasi labour migrants might be supported and describes a recent initiative in this regard.

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