Indian migrants

How can Indian cities shield vulnerable migrants from climate change? With better affordable housing: Scroll

(Aaran Patel is an MPP candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. The column first appeared in Scroll on October 13, 2021)


  • Migrants who are driven to leave their homes in India’s rural areas because of climate change are being battered by climate impacts in megacities as well. Lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable Indians are being overturned by this double blow and the trend, says a study in the academic journal Nature, is expected to worsen over the coming decades. This presents a significant challenge for cities that already fall woefully short of ensuring safety and security for their poorest residents. In India’s large metropolises, migrants living under tarpaulin and tin sheets have scant protection against the elements. They roast in the summer heat and struggle to stay warm in the winter. Their homes are inundated in the increasingly mercurial monsoon. Around the year, they toil to access potable water for daily needs. Their lungs are choked because of poor indoor air quality. Decades of marginalisation and neglect have imperilled their comfort, health, productivity and security…

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