BY | January 3, 2013

Thiruvananthapuram, A study on migration of Indians to Saudi Arabia says that despite various economic advantages, there is also a social cost that migrants are forced to pay over time for staying away from their kin.

“Remittances from migration potentially improve education and health outcomes for children. However, the opportunity costs of absentee parents make children less likely to receive some essential nutritional inputs, like breastfeeding,” says S. Irudaya Rajan of the Centre for Development Studies here.

Irudaya Rajan along with Jolin Joseph authored the study, ‘Living and Working Conditions of Low and Semi-Skilled Migrants’, commissioned by the ministry of overseas Indian affairs’ research unit on international migration.

The most painful and tangible social cost of migration is the separation of children from parents, says the study, adding that the absence of mothers, in particular, results in the breakdown of the traditional care-giving arrangement.

“In the absence of adequate parental guidance, children grow up confused and this may manifest in rebellion, school absenteeism, drop-outs and substance abuse,” says Irudaya Rajan.

The study is also part of a book titled: India Migration Report 2012, Social Cost of Migration, which is edited by Irudaya Rajan. The book is likely to be released at the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas that begins in the Kerala port city of Kochi Monday.

Irudaya Rajan told IANS that the study focuses on Saudi Arabia, which is among the world’s principal labour destinations, for its geopolitical importance, the significant size of Indian migrant population, rigid border controls, stringent laws and the way the country treats its immigrants.

“The Saudi economic engine relies heavily on its transient population owing to the low literacy rates and high unemployment rates of its native population. The abundance of capital on one side and the shortage of domestic labour on the other led the mass influx of workers to meet manpower requirements,” Irudaya Rajan adds.

According to the annual report of the ministry of overseas Indian affairs, Saudi Arabia continues to be the desired destination among low- and semi-skilled workers from India. The country attracted about 289,297 immigrants from India in 2011.

However, Irudaya Rajan points out that vulnerabilities of the Indian diaspora in Saudi Arabia warrant immediate attention of the Indian government.

“The central question for immigration policy must be the balance between costs and benefits. Human rights apply to all migrants and we must do more to close the gap between rhetorical support for migrant rights and tangible commitments to ensure their well-being.

“The solution lies not only in generating awareness but also in creating viable alternatives. Pragmatic policies are necessary to streamline the migration process and help migrant workers and their families advance on the road to improved life chances,” says Irudaya Rajan.(IANS)

RELATED

Weight loss surgery impacts taste buds, smell   Weight-loss surgery or bariatric surgery is becoming very popular across the world, more specially in United States. Around 30 percent people in the US are suffering from obesity and there are reasons to be very...

Obese overweight

Free drug samples for doctors make medication costlier for patients   There is no denying the fact that sample drugs are prompting doctors to write expensive drugs compared to relatively cheap alternatives and other generic medicines that are quite inexpensive...

medicines

RIL Q4 sales rise as it sees strong year for refining business   Mumbai: It is good time for Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). India’s largest private refiner has recorded a marginal growth. The company with its headquarters in Mumbai has managed a marginal growth of...

Doha Bank buys HSBC Bank Oman’s India business worth $58m   Mumbai: HSBC Bank Oman’s business interests in India are going to Qatar’s top bank, Doha Bank. Reports suggest that HSBC Hank Oman is partially owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc and that the Qatar...

doha bank

Gold prices go up, silver appreciate by around 1 percent   New Delhi: Gold is glittering once again after its prices went down a bit in the last few days. After the prices fell down considerably in the last several sessions, the prices seem to be recovering at the...

gold-bars

Arvind Kejriwal facing heat: After BJP booklet, Court reprimands NVONews.Com Correspondent,     New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal is facing one issue after the other. After distribution of a booklet against him and being driven out from Sankat Mochan Temple in...

arvid kejriwal