Dimensions of Vulnerability in Rural and Urban Areas: A Case of Migrants in Karnataka

Kavya Michael, Chandni Singh, Tanvi Deshpande, Amir Bashir Bazaz  | March 2017


In Karnataka, vulnerabilities are shaped by climatic and non-climatic factors across the rural-urban continuum. Migration is a key coping strategy, yet the migration of the rural working classes to the cities often results in the replication of the vulnerabilities experienced in rural areas. On the other hand, the outcomes of daily commuting (rather than permanent migration) may help to improve household-level well-being.In rural areas, environmental hazards like droughts, erratic rainfall, extended dry spells, and depleting groundwater directly impact the livelihoods based on natural resources.Climatic impacts manifested through localised flooding, elevated temperatures and water availability affect the urban poor more subtly than the rural poor, as they intersect with multiple dimensions of urban poverty and informality. This is evident in the case of Bangalore’s informal settlement dwellers. Socio-economic marginalisation along the lines of caste and class are key determinants of structural vulnerability in urban and rural areas.