We live in a world shaped by human migration. Every day, people make a decision to leave their hometown and move elsewhere for various reasons. Internal migration has changed the demographic composition of towns, cities, and nations.
People can migrate due to a range of reasons including, social, political, environmental and economical.
Internal migration more often happens in developing countries mainly in the form of rural to urban areas. Rural to urban migration provides manpower to industries, which facilitates production and economic growth of both the migrants and the nation.
It benefits rural communities due to money that migrants in urban centers send home.
Good health care facilities, better access to technologies and transportation, educational and employment opportunities, good governance or administration etc. are the benefits for migrants.
For many people, especially in developing countries like Nepal, access to these services offers many preferences in terms of creating opportunities.
However, there are a bunch of negative burdens on societies.
Overcrowding of people and unmanaged patterns of urbanization lead to increased social and environmental imbalance, and overpopulation in urban territory which proceed to chronic problems of shortage of houses resulting in slums settlements due to large entry of unemployed or underemployed migrants who have no place to live in.
Rural to urban migration reduces population in rural communities leading to decreased farming activities and ultimately food insecurity and economic decline in rural areas, since the resources are not utilized due to labor shortage.
Child labor is increasing steadily in rural areas where many young people leave their hometown in search of employment which results in a drop in school enrollment decreasing the literacy rate.
Internal migration is viewed as a desirable as well as a never ending trend that spreads the benefits of economic growth. For individuals and families, migration can increase income, lead to new skills, improve social status, build assets and improve quality of life though some negative aspects remain.
Internal migration has emerged as a prominent field for enquiry, investigation, and effective policies from government, prospective international NGOs, and the beneficiaries.
A version of this article appears in print on December 26, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.