NE`s Migrant Force

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The present time is a very disconcerting period for lakhs of people from the NE region residing in Delhi. After the recent series of gory incidents, many of them who proudly consider Delhi as their second home will be forced to reconsider their options. Before the fatal assault on student Nido Taniam of Arunachal, many NE people have been attacked, raped or killed in unprovoked crimes. Hundreds of cases where north-east people have been specifically targeted by the locals due to their dissimilar physical features have occurred, though only few were ever reported to the police. Though official data to corroborate the claims have been previously non-existent it is a generally agreed point that NE people are a vulnerable group. The hazards and discomfort faced by women from the region living in Delhi was highlighted in a survey conducted by the National Commission for Woman. The report which was published in the latter part of January found out that 60 percent of women from NE region faced harassment and discrimination in Delhi and other metropolitan cities with the national capital earning the dubious distinction of meting out the maximum harassment and discrimination. The report also made a detection about the victims’ mistrust on the police with more than 80 percent of them deciding against reporting the cases to the police. The dissimilarities with their countrymen from other parts striking out instantly due to their Mongoloid features, the north-eastern people are vulnerable to racial abuses, prejudice, discrimination and low rates of acceptance from colleagues and neighbours belonging to the mainland. Moreover, the process of amalgamation of the people into the general mainstream has also been impeded by cultural differences and divergent social beliefs.

Racial prejudice is an unwanted off-shot of a multi-cultural society and it is inevitable despite the wide resentment. Undermining the subliminal existence of sharp cultural and social contradiction, the numbers of people moving their base to the national capital, and other metropolitan cities, from the NE regions have witnessed a rise of astronomical proportion. Earlier, the migratory demographics composed mainly government employees or boarding students whose movement and social participation were well-defined and confined to their duties. On the contrary, the present crops of migrants from the region represent a wide spectrum of people and many of them are professionals and job-seekers who have covered the distance in pursuit of better dreams. However, these very persons from NE hunting for jobs were not driven by poverty. Most of them belonged to middle-class families. Procurement of jobs comes rather easily to them. They can also afford to lead an active social life and live with sufficient means if not in opulence. The flow of migrant worker is rapid and continuous and many of the professionals are ready to spend their entire careers in the cities. The respective state governments in the NE region should realise the migrant force’s contribution to the economy of the state, by guaranteeing inflow of cash and easing the problem of unemployment. Thus, it should envision a far-sighted plan for the benefits of its citizens stationed in economically vibrant cities. Accommodation of its denizens at common locations or areas in the cities and discouragement to scattered settlement as much as possible should be given preference. Moreover, the state governments should establish branch offices in these cities to avail services, legal aids and welfare programmes, similar to those planned for their brethren back in their home states. This will assist in keeping the flock together from harm’s way and continue the promotion of multi-cultural societies in India.      

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