How migration affects youth

Youth is that age when human beings are most motivated and willing to take up challenges and risks in life. The youth is also most likely to migrate. Though there is a lot of international migration observed among the youth in India, studies suggest that the number of internal migration has increased over the years. Young Indians from all strata of society migrate within the country for various reasons. There are several patterns of internal migration within the country; rural to urban migration being the most common. The other patterns include urban to rural migration, urban to urban migration and rural to rural migration. According to a study, every one out of four households in India has at least one migrant in the family. The youth generally migrates when they are presented with better opportunities than at their place of residence. They are in that age when they have lesser responsibilities and very little to hold them back.


Several reasons could cause the youth to migrate :

  1. Education : Student migration is the most common trend in India these days. Going abroad might not be the most feasible option for the middle class Indian. Hence, they prefer looking for better educational institutions within the country. The metropolitan cities see maximum inward migration. Students from all across the country move to these cities with the aim to achieve to better academic grooming; sometimes only available in these cities.
  2. Employment : There is a huge disparity observed in the presentation of employment opportunities when different cities in India are compared. Not to forget, if you haven’t chosen the path of a traditional job, chances are that the opportunities are limited to begin with. The youth is, thus, forced out of their nest so that they follow their choice of profession.
  3. Marriage: A lot of women migrate after marriage. While women migration for education and employment is not too different from men; most women change their place of residence wherever their husband is based out of.
  4. Labour : Labour migration is an extremely common phenomenon in India. These young people are forced to migrate owing to reasons such as poverty and unemployment at home. These are also the young people who have not had proper access to education and are forced to take up menial jobs in bigger cities or towns.

Effects of Migration

While migration does present the youth of India with better opportunities, it has its own challenges and roadblocks along the way.

Discrimination/Exploitation : Young migrants are most likely to face discrimination and are vulnerable to exploitation in different ways.

Social Isolation : Adjusting to a new place, people, language and culture might not come easy. A lot of young migrants feel socially isolated and this takes an emotional toll on them.

Depression : Cases of depression and disillusionment among young migrants is not uncommon. Staying away from loved ones along with the added pressures of studies, job or other factors can affect the mental and physical health of these young people. These people are also at a higher risk of developing harmful habits such as smoking or in extreme cases, substance abuse.

As observed, migration is an outcome of various social, economic and demographic reasons. The government needs to intervene at a policy level to improve the condition of young migrants. Greater investments need to be made in the fields of education and skill-training for young Indians. The government needs to strive to reduce the disparity in available opportunities for young people. Additional facilities for counseling and training should also be arranged. Special attention should be given to better the situation of labour migrants who sometimes live in the most deplorable conditions. Migration should be integrated into the policy for national strategy so that the myriad of challenges that the young migrants face can be addressed and countered.

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