The Journey Back Home: Design, Policy and Migration
The International Literature and Arts Festival in Dehradun invited D.S Garbiyal, Bhuwan Pathak, Richa Gansiyal and Priyanka Toila to illuminate audience members with the critical aspects of migration issues that often end up being side-lined. The big takeaway from the conversation was the nuanced outlook provided by the panel members on reverse migration and the efforts in the direction being made. The session was chaired by B.S Barfal and N S Napalchyal, and started off by comprehensively laying out the issues that lead to migration without and avenues for rerouting once you shift geographically.
The last state census having revealed dismal levels of growth in particular regions, discourse must be diversified to allow for reduction in migrant inflow numbers, as paucity of resources make it imperative to first get the located population to stay back.
The most affected among the dislocated happen to be the farmers in rural Uttarakhand, and it is to those we should affect employment opportunities towards first, opined Mr. Garbiyal. Working with the District Magistrate body in Uttarakhand, he propounded the idea of Homestay in the state, especially successful models in villages like Nabi, that have flourished under his supervision and focused determination. The session was empowering to attend, as it underlined the small efforts made by individuals that might not overhaul systems but lead to pockets of change in local communities.
The lack of unique policy points for different regions within the hilly areas are a major reason for the ineffectiveness of several development programs, and employment initiatives. Reverse migration can only take place once migrants have chances of employment back home, and feel secure in going back. Various field experts emphasised on easing bureaucratic barriers to implement those changes, and the need for being innovative in design models.
Richa Gansiyal, along with her colleague Priyanka Toila, advocated the need for a liberal approach to R&D in the field. Both NID alumnus, they presented an inspiring story of local design development and enterprise, and focused on the need for data documentation in order to figure out the impact targets. It is important to have an idea of who it is that you plan to provide benefits to, so you can tailor it according to regional needs. Uttarakhand’s richness in natural resources gives it good grounding for designing initiatives, and with a clean slate to work on, great achievements can be made possible.
“We ourseleves are stories of reverse migration”, said Richa Gonsiyal, as she appealed to policy makers to ease the processes that allow for state development to be carried out with purpose and detail.
The event layed out the concept of reverse migration, and gave due credit to the benefits arising from regulated migration as well. It also covered the grassroot scenario and the lack of policy work in the area, proving to be truly a comprehensive talk.