Place, Social Protection and Migration in Bangladesh: A Londoni Village in Biswanath

Just discovered this article written by Katy Gardener and Zahir Ahmed from the Sussex Centre for Migration Research, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka. It is quite interesting as it discusses migration and in particular focuses on an area of Sylhet that is close to my heart.

In this working paper, which is based on a 2006 research in Biswanatt, Sylhet (in Bangladesh) the authors take issue with generalised notions of ‘social protection’ common to development discourse.

The context is a ‘Londoni’ village (i.e. a village with high levels of transnational migration to the UK). This has led to what appears to be an economic ‘boom’: new houses and businesses have proliferated, whilst villagers returning from the UK either for a holiday or longer periods are often lavishly generous, giving a great deal of ‘help’ to their village-based relatives, as well as other forms of charity to the local poor.

Partly in response to the availability of work in Londoni villages, plus the more favourable employment conditions offered in them, there has been a high level of internal migration into the area by those whose livelihoods have either failed elsewhere, or who are reliant upon temporary migration as a wider livelihood strategy. Many of these internal migrants come from other districts of Bangladesh such as Mymensingh and Comilla. Others come from neighbouring non-Londoni districts.

Read the full article