Selection of three field sites from India and Bangladesh enables a comparative perspective between state policies and localities faced with different kind of natural phenomenon (floods, cyclones and the rise of seawater level).
Mohammad Jasim Uddin explores people’s displacement due to the rising seawater in the Bangladeshi side of Sunderbons. He will study how the inhabitants, whose native places have been engulfed by the rising sea and river water level, pursue new livelihoods in an urban slum in Sylhet (a metropolitan city in northeastern Bangladesh). Migrants ́ struggle for new livelihoods includes their adaptive capacities, gaining and retaining access to resources and opportunities, dealing with stress and shocks, negotiating social relationships within the households, and managing social networks within and across communities and the city. Uddin also examines migrants’ claim making as everyday forms of agency and as part of political networks.
Dayabati Roy and Sirpa Tenhunen examine the predicament of the people who have been displaced from the Indian side of Sunderbons to Kolkata due to the combined effects of cyclones and the rising sea water level. Roy looks into the way in which these environmental migrants are making their subsistence in the city, and making claims on the government for alternative livelihoods. The research will aim to understand the politics of the displaced people on the one hand, and on the other, the intervention of the civil societies as well as the political parties in it. Furthermore, it will also find out how the government interprets the climate change issues and its effects on the citizens.
Sirpa Tenhunen will explore the gender aspects of the climate change induced displacement. She also examines how climate change induced mobilities relate to other mobilities particularly in women’s lives such as women’s use of digital media (especially mobile phones) for translocal communication and maintaining social relationships at their native places and at their migration origins.
Jelena Salmi’s research explores how migrant workers and Koli fishing communities in Madh Island, Mumbai perceive environmental changes and how they devise strategies of adaptation and alternative livelihoods. She also studies the factors that together with climate-induced rainfall deficits cause people to migrate to Mumbai and the impact of migration on their social and material resources.
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