Inclusion or exclusion? Gendered experiences and strategies of migrants in informal settlements in Bengaluru

Soundarya Iyer, Nitya Rao

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Internal migration, nearly four times more than the migration across national boundaries, accounts for the largest human movements in the world. In context of agrarian distress, circular migration between the rural and the urban is a common livelihood trajectory of at least 100 million Indians. It is known that circular migrants face numerous economic and social challenges of survival in the city. This article focuses on gendered experiences and strategies adopted by migrants for inclusion in informal settlements in Bengaluru. Drawing on the concepts of social exclusion, inclusion and agency, we use household surveys (n = 1,109) in 30 informal settlements in Bengaluru in 2016, semi-structured interviews (n = 20) in one informal settlement, key informant interviews (n = 5) and participant observation in events and meetings in the city to illustrate individual and collective strategies used by diverse groups and the ways in which these are gendered. We find that the length of stay in the settlement is a crucial determinant of social inclusion in the city.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIndian Journal of Human Development
Early online date28 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Apr 2024


  • Bengaluru
  • gendered strategies
  • Inclusion
  • India
  • informal settlements
  • internal migration

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