Case of Tamil Nadu
A million married women left to look after families, about 2 million children growing up with perhaps just 1 parent around, and about the same number of aged parents struggling alone, far from their children abroad: this snapshot of emigration from Tamil Nadu sums up the social cost of getting an annual remittance of Rs 61,843 crore into the state.
It is a large sum — 14% of Tamil Nadu’s state domestic product, 6.8 times the money it received from the Centre as revenue transfer in 2014-15, and 1.8 times the entire expenditure of the state government that is earned in exchange for a heavy price.
What the survey says?
According to the Tamil Nadu Migration Survey 2015, the first comprehensive study on emigration from the state, carried out by the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) in Thiruvananthapuram, roughly every tenth household in Tamil Nadu has one or more workers abroad. (The ratio is higher in Kerala, where every fifth household has an emigrant worker.)
While migration is mostly studied through the lens of remittances and economy, the new survey has revealed its huge social impact as well.
1. Many emigrant households are run by ‘Gulf Wives’, called the female-headed households”.
2. Over 70% of remittances was “blood money” that emigrants earned while working in extreme climatic conditions.
3. Lakhs of unskilled or semi-skilled workers send money to their families back in India. By contrast, many NRIs who earn much more mostly spend their earnings abroad.
What is blood money?
Blood money also called bloodwit, is money or some sort of compensation paid by an offender (usually a murderer) or his/her family group to the family or kin group of the victim.
A common meaning in other contexts is the money-penalty paid by a murderer to the kinsfolk of the victim. These fines completely protect the offender (or the kinsfolk thereof) from the vengeance of the injured family.