Hard Relax after Hard Labour: The Situation of Elderly Return Emigrants in Kerala, India

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Jayakumar MADHAVAN SARASAMMA, University of Kerala, India
The state of Kerala is well known for international migration, especially labour migration to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in the Persian Gulf, started in the early 1970s with oil boom. The majority of these 2.4 million expatriate workers are lesser educated and involved in construction and other manual jobs at the destinations. Return of these emigrants started in the 1980s and still continues. Their number was 1.25 million in 2014 against 1.15 million in 2011. The present study, based on empirical data, looks into the situation of the aged return emigrants in the state. The return emigrants too are mostly males like the emigrants. The distribution of return emigrants among religious groups shows sharp distinction with Muslim households having more representation. As most of their earnings is spent on building house, educating children, marrying off girl children, meeting everyday needs etc., they could not save much for their elderly life. They do not benefit from any emigrant welfare schemes for repatriates. Investment of their earnings and savings for purposes other than sustainable income generation caused loss of income. They also could not utilise the skill and expertise they gained abroad back at home after return, especially those returned due to health issues. The loss of income has brought about undesirable outcomes in their familial and social relations.