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Abstract of Documentary SHRAM BECHTA HOON: Migration to Delhi

Ayushi Agrawal, Monika Bisht, Rakesh Ranjan, Student, Master in Labour and Development, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Delhi. Email-,, Contact: 9013029264
Duration: Around 25 Minutes. The aim of the documentary is to depict the working and living conditions of migrant workers in the informal sector. Basically, it is based on internal migration from different states to Delhi region especially from Bihar, UP, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. How migrant workers are generating their livelihood at unknown places and what is the role of networking in migration. The documentary tries to explore what motivational factors and forces works in trends of migration. The documentary starts with Simdega, Jharkhand to depict the infrastructural and living conditions in back home of migrant workers. In Delhi, the documentary tries to capture the different stages of survival of migrant workers. Firstly, the documentary starts with visuals of railway stations and bus terminals and labour chawks of different places, to show that how they are coming to Delhi, role of contractor and the schooling of their children at new places, working and living conditions. Basically, we have focused on informal workers such as rickshaw puller, construction work, cobbler, sweeper, female domestic worker, child labour and we have consider the beggar and housewife also who migrates due to some family reasons.The documentary consist three interviews of Prof. Brij Mahraj, Dr. Neetha N and Dr. M V Bijulal to generate the theoretical and policy issues about migrant workers.

We have taken various interviews of different migrant workers in which they talked about their day-to-day problems, wages, their needs and expectations, the migration- period. The documentary finds that main reason of labourmigration is less work opportunities in the villages and rural areas. There are very few development projects in rural areas mainly in Bihar, Jharkhand and UP and on the other hand, there is huge labour reservoir that migrates to Delhi in search of work. At the time of migration they do not have any idea about what they will do in Delhi but their hopes and desires are quite high. Some of the major findings of the documentary are:

The migrant workers came to do better paid and secure jobs to fulfill their minimum needs, childrens education and family needs but they are not getting anything.

They are facing various problems such as Low/untimely wages, long working hours, poor infrastructure at work-place, no increment, and no permanency in job, contractual nature of job, no social security, and no collective agreements at workplace because of completely informal nature of employment.

Due to lack of economic support and poverty, they are living in unhygienic and dirty areas. They have to suffer many problems such as they do not have proper place to live, dirty and poorly maintain residence areas, house-rent is so high in Delhi, no toilet and washroom facility.

They are getting more of contractual jobs only without timely wages, proper social securities and permanent jobs.

Due to lack of information of labour-market, they end-up with informal activity.

Women migrate out of compulsion as their husbands income is not sufficient to run a family and childrens education. Although there caste and family do not allow them to do work such as domestic helps and other informal activities but they have to do it.

There are many women migrants who are not allow to do work outside. They migrate along with their husbands.

There is no such effective law to safeguard their working conditions and living conditions.

No special provision by govt to protect their interest in the recent trend of price-rise and workers are facing lots of problems from local administration and police.

The documentary concludes with policy suggestions that there is urgent need of proper mechanism to settle the issues of labour migrants such as migrant workers CENSUS in better way. There should be an effective welfare mechanism to support the working and living conditions of workers. As documentary will always continue as it is, there wont be changes in the flow of migration, but state should take responsibility of his own members.