Forced into construction jobs, migrants must now contend with climate change

Millions of India’s landless Dalits who migrate to cities looking for work face the prospect of even worse conditions, triggered by extreme weather events.

This story was supported by the Pulitzer Center.

One morning in October 2011, Dharmendra Ahirwar stepped off a train at Nizamuddin station, clutching his mother’s hand. The 13-year-old’s eyes nervously tracked his younger sister walking beside him. They followed their father who was trying to navigate the family through the crowd.   

Two nights earlier, the Ahirwar family sat under a peepal tree in the courtyard of their one-room house in a village in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh. “I could sense that we were struggling,” says Dharmendra, now 24, recalling that day. “That night, my father said we would have …


Bhasker Tripathi

Bhasker is an award-winning journalist who has been reporting at the intersection of climate change, energy, land, natural resources and society in India for over 10 years.