I have been an expat most of my life and have come across many from the sub-continent over the years who come to a phoren country to work or study with dreams in their eyes and hope in their breath. Many of them take student loans, mortgage property and valuables and then come overseas in the hope of a better future. Firstly, many anticipate a land of milk and honey which turn into the despair and misery for millions. Dreams crushed to rubble. Most are scared to go back as they will have to confront failure, condemnation and social shame. Students are economic migrants too but they come to a foreign country early in life to study and to make their career. They are focused on creating value for oneself and their family. Not all succeed in reaching the peak and create success stories to be recited in local village schools but at-least are able to garner a better life financially.
People become immigrants because they do not find the right platform, jobs or opportunities to shine in their own backyard. No one migrates out of pleasure as changes and struggles are enormous. States in India such as Punjab and Kerala specialize in migrant workforces, although many a time social bullying plays a substantial role in triggering the desire to go overseas. The ‘catching up with the jones’es’ is a major driver. In short its greed and desperation that are the catalysts. migrant labor are the underbelly of globalization and the veins of global capitalism. From Chinese traders in Guyana to Nigerian folks in Guangzhou, world has indeed come full circle. Illegal human trafficking is the dark side of this pathetic human story. Overseas workers are underpaid and exploited everyday in sweatshops and construction sites across the globe. For one success story there are countless many, who did not make it….
It is indeed time that we re-assess the need of migrating overseas vis-a-vis staying at home to crave a future, sometimes there is sadly none to fall back upon…..