A Virtual Conference via Zoom
October 27-28, 2021
In late March 2020, newspapers across the world were filled with heartbreaking images of rural migrants in India risking and sometimes losing their lives to flee the cities in which they worked. This "migrant crisis" was precipitated by the sudden imposition of a stringent national lockdown by the Indian government in response to the pandemic. Headlines across India repeatedly asked: Who were these migrants? What were they doing in cities? Why would they undertake such treacherous journeys? And why were policymakers unable to anticipate this crisis?
These questions illustrate how little we know about India’s internal migrant workers. How many migrant workers does India have, and what are the difficulties in "counting" migrants? What are the social and economic challenges migrants face in cities and how can these be reduced? What impact does migration have on the villages from which migrants come?
This conference aims to bring together a diverse set of practitioners, bureaucrats, and academics to deliberate on these questions. We aim to bring their varied expertise to bear on providing clear and accessible outlines of the challenges surrounding internal migration in India, as well as possible policy solutions. The conference is an interdisciplinary event that will represent the voices of migrants and showcase current, cutting-edge research on this topic.
We hope this conference will help broaden our understanding of contemporary migration in India and offer grounded, informed discussions of paths forward to better serve this vital and overlooked population.
DAY 1: October 27
Each panel will be one hour long (including time for Q&A)
Times listed below are in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
Director of CASI, Penn
1. KEYNOTE INTRODUCTORY SPEAKER:
2. SHORT PANEL: COUNTING MIGRATION
University of Notre Dame
University of Warwick
3. FULL PANEL: COVID-19 AND MIGRATION
R. B. Bhagat & Sulaiman K. M.
International Institute of Population Studies (IIPS), Mumbai
S. Irudaya Rajan
International Institute of Migration and Development (IIMAD), Kerala
Stranded Workers Action Network (SWAN)
4. FULL PANEL: GENDER AND MIGRATION
Wharton, University of Pennsylvania
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Pennsylvania
Centre for Women's Development Studies, New Delhi (Retired)
DAY 2: October 28
1. FULL PANEL: MIGRANT LIVELIHOODS AND INCLUSION (4 presentations)
Center for Policy Research (CPR), New Delhi
University of Sussex
Gareth Nellis and Nikhar Gaikwad
University of California San Diego (UCSD) and Columbia University, respectively
2. POLICYMAKER AND PRACTITIONER ROUNDTABLE
(Q&A moderated by Tariq Thachil, Director of CASI, Penn)
Alex Paul Menon
IAS, Chhattisgarh Govt.
Center for Migration and Inclusive Development
3. KEYNOTE CLOSING SPEAKER
University of Pennsylvania
University of California San Diego (UCSD)