31 August, 2012

Return Emigrants in Kerala: Welfare, Rehabilitation and Development

Return Emigrants in Kerala: Welfare, Rehabilitation and Development

By- K.C. Zachariah, P.R. Gopinathan Nair and S. Irudaya Rajan

The book constitutes an attempt to construct a profile of migrants from Kerala to the Gulf region, on the basis of an extensive of survey of return emigrants and their households. The purpose of this study was to understand the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the emigrants at the various stages of emigration process—prior to emigration, during stay abroad and after return to Kerala. Another important aspect which is discussed is the costs and returns of emigration, the working and living conditions of emigrants in the destination region, the pattern of utilization of remittances back home and the problems of rehabilitation that the emigrants encounter after return.

While emigration in large numbers has assuaged the pain of massive unemployment in Kerala to a significant extent and raised the income levels of thousands of emigrants’ households by way of remittances, these processes have not led to a developmental take-off of the Kerala economy. While it is the duty of the government to help the returned emigrants whose emigration ended up in disaster and economic ruin (who constitute about one-fifth of the returned emigrants), the government may not find it justifiable to introduce social welfare programmers for the rest of them. However, the government may think of organizing welfare schemes and forming cooperatives of returned emigrants for undertaking projects, which they will be in a position to fulfill with discipline and dedication.

K.C. Zachariah currently Honorary Fellow at the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, was principal demographer at the World Bank, Washington D.C. Along with Professor S. Irudaya Rajan, Zachariah has conducted two large scale Kerala migration surveys in 1998 and 2003. He has to his credit several important books/monographs and articles on Kerala’s Demography.

P.R. Gopinathan Nair currently Honorary Fellow at the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, was earlier Head of the Department of Economics in the University of Kerala; National Coordinator, UNDP/Government of India project on National Strategies for Human Development in India and Programme Advisor, Kerala Research Programme on Local Level Development financially supported by the Netherlands government.

S. Irudaya Rajan is Fellow at the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram. He is the lead  author of the book, India’s Elderly: Burden or Challenge? Currently, he is coordinating two international projects on ageing—care of the elderly and healthy ageing.

ISBN  81-7304-675-1    2006   200p.   Rs.595/ pounds 45

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