Destinations of Male Outmigration and their Drivers in Indian Sundarbans

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Shatabdi Saha
Rupak Goswami


Economic liberalisation has created opportunities for semi-skilled labours within and outside India. This study investigates the male out-migration from the Sundarbans region of India with special reference to the choice of their destinations. Following a mixed-method approach, we collected data through a questionnaire survey, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, key-informant interviews, and Participatory Rural Appraisal. Analyses revealed that migrants tended to travel to diverse inland and even to overseas destinations on a fixed condition, facilitated by pre-existing support networks. The decision on choosing a destination is regulated by several micro-level determinants such as migration chronology, education, and acquired skill, life cycle stage of the migrants, the expected amount of remittance, the reason for migration, and nature of the job at the destination. The destinations abroad are often preceded by migration to inland destinations leading to higher acquired skill and savings. Joint families, having the ability to support international travel and access to support networks, were more prone to reach international destinations.


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Saha, S., & Goswami, R. (2020). Destinations of Male Outmigration and their Drivers in Indian Sundarbans . Space and Culture, India, 8(1), 111-142.


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