Exploitative forms of transit labor in three regions of Andhra Pradesh

The state of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana was bifurcated in the year 2014. With the loss of capital city Hyderabad to Telangana state, the state of Andhra Pradesh is in the process of building a new capital city Amaravati by re-visualizing development in its three regions. As a result, Andhra Pradesh is experiencing large scale acquisition of land in the three regions (south, north coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema) for the purpose of new capital city Amaravati, special economic zones (SEZ), power plants (solar, wind, nuclear), pharma cities, airports, mineral extraction, new ports, information technology (IT) parks and other commercial  and residential projects. In addition, the decline of agricultural incomers, severe droughts, non-incorporation of local labour in the industrial and developmental projects in each region have further pushed the workers into several informal employment both in rural and urban areas, resulting in precarious, insecure and vulnerable situations. This complex situation has led to an unprecedented scale of involuntary migration and various forms of intense exploitation forms of transit labour in all three regions. Read more

Closed City ‘Spaces’: Differential Access to Education in Vijayawada, South India

Vijayawada is a city located on the banks of the Krishna river in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, which is one of the five South Indian states. This city was one of the few important provincial cities even during the colonial period. Vijayawada today is a high-growth city as it is part of the new capital city region, where the new capital ‘Amaravati’ is being built in about 50,000 acres by the new state of Andhra Pradesh. In order to understand Vijayawada city and its trans-formative phases, it is important to analyse the coastal Andhra region where it is located. The agrarian economy primarily revolved around the two river basins – Krishna and Godavari (comprising four districts Krishna, Guntur, East and West Godavari) contributing 60 % of the agricultural produce in erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. As the region has adequate canal irrigation facilities, it is economically well developed. Scholars have traced a significant increase of cultivable land both in krishna and Guntur districts at two intervals, first, when the barrage was constructed across the Krishna river by Arthur Cotton in the year 1852, and secondly when the Nagarajuna Sagar dam was constructed in 1960s (Rao 1985; Reddy 1989). The region’s growth curve took another major turning point with the green revolution since mid-1960s, intensifyingcommercial crops and generating surplus from the agrarian economy. This process subsequently lead to rapid urbanization, as a result of which number of urban centres – Vijayawada, Guntur, Mangalagiri, Rajamundry, Kakinada, Tenali, Machilipatnam emerged in the region. The nexus between land and water played a significant role not only in economy but also in politics and the social sphere (Parthasarathy 2004), thus contributing to the development of social and cultural capital to use Bourdieu’s concept (Jenkins Richard 1992). The economic, social and political networks constituted the basis for the upper castes to emerge as educational entrepreneurs in and outside the region by 1980’s. read more