Culture of Migration in Central Gujarat
Billboards on the Streets of Anand
Photographs: Mario Rutten/ Molly Fitzpatrick/ Pieter Lagerwaard/ Fieke Jägers
Text: Mario Rutten (ProGlo Programme Co-Director)
As one travels through central Gujarat, it is impossible to escape the physical manifestation of migration aspirations. Along the main roads in the town of Anand billboards promote the attractiveness of studying in the UK, USA or Australia; consultants advertise their services for admission to foreign colleges and private tuition for English tests; banks welcome NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) with banners above the entrance and offer loans to cover the course fees for studies abroad.
Regions that exhibit such intense migration aspirations are often described as having a ‘culture of migration’. In such places, earlier experiences of migration tend to get reproduced, reinforcing the celebration of migration and migrants, thereby fostering further migration.
See also Working Paper 5: Middling Migration: Contradictory Mobility Experiences of Indian Youth in London, by Mario Rutten and Sanderien Verstappen. http://www.provglo.org/working-papers