‘Transit’ Labour in Mumbai City
June 14, 2012
Migration into cities is a feature of many third world cities; its impact on the city and its people has a temporal, socio-cultural as well as economic dimension. The waves of migrants that enter a city space over the decades therefore find themselves absorbed or not absorbed in the avenues of work opportunities they seek. Those who join the ranks of the working poor in the city, struggle to find shelter or spaces, and make them habitable over several years. Over the years, the city expands outwards and within the city too, there are the more and less preferred spaces that begin to be occupied depending on the economic and social status of the settlers. The working poor in the informal sector set up shelters within shrinking and unaffordable spaces – in slum settlements, along railway tracks and even inside unused water pipelines; there is, in fact, a hierarchy of spaces that forms over a period of time with the poorer people in the least preferred spaces.