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Informal Labours in Kolkata City: Migration from Undivided Bihar and Uttar Pradesh


Migration takes place due to various social, cultural, economic or political reasons. Previous Census reports of India show that employment-induced out-migration is a common feature of several states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and other states. In the case of Kolkata, informal labours have enormous employment opportunities in big business centres and small manufacturing units of the city. With the help of D-series Census Data of the years 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2011, this study focuses on the migration pattern and the reasons for migration to Kolkata. Secondary data fails to give an idea about the migration pattern of non-Bengali informal labours in the city. Through intensive field survey, the present study tries to identify the dominance of non-Bengali single (without family) male labour migration and to explore the migration streams to the informal sectors of Kolkata. With the help of both secondary data on migration over different decades and by using the primary data, the article argues that non-Bengali migrants represent the informal labour community in Kolkata especially from undivided Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and the pattern of migration is mainly occupation-induced single male labour migration.


Non-Bengali Informal labour, Single Male Migration



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