Social Determinants of Health and Well-being: An Analysis of the Northeast Migrant Workers Living in Delhi


  • Dr. Asem Tomba Meetei Ph.D. Research Scholar, Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi-110067



Migrants’ Health, Well-being, Social Determinants of health, Northeast Migrant Workers, Delhi, India


This research article aims to analyze migrants’ health and well-being in the context of Northeast Migrant Workers Living in Delhi. The World Health Organization (WHO) has considered the health of migrants as an important area of inquiry for policy making and the paper is post-migration lived experiences of the workers, which is related to the policy making agenda. An Existing conceptual framework of the social determinants of health and well-being are corroborated. The research design is an empirical work based on the selection of seven urban villages and five residential localities in Delhi. The study population is the Northeast migrant workers working in six occupational groups in the last 1-10 years in the age group 18-44 years with a sample of 120 respondents of both genders male and female including transgender persons. The data was collected through a semi-structured questionnaire followed by in-depth interviews from January 2017 to February 2018 and used qualitative and quantitative data analysis in my research. Among 120 migrant workers, 77.5% reported anxiety, 75.83% life insecurity, 70.83% alienation, 53.33% developed anger, 47.5% vulnerability, 43.33% lack of motivation, 42.5% loneliness, 41.66% feeling of resentment, 40.83% back and joint pains, 39.16% emotional crisis, 38.33% low self-esteem, 35.83% poor concentration, 33.33% self-depreciation, 25.83% poor vision, 2.5% miscarriage. The study shows that the distributions of self-reported health and well-being consequences are unevenly distributed and anxiety is to be found more reported among the migrant workers. The result was cross-checked among the Northeast migrant workers and it was found out that the social determinants such as socio-cultural differences, social discrimination, prejudice, and stereotypes against the migrants play important determinants influencing the health and wellbeing of the migrants at the place of destination. Post-migration experience has both positive and negative consequences of health and well-being. The more social networks there are, the better is resilience to adapt to the new environment for better health and well-being and its coping mechanism.

Author Biography

Dr. Asem Tomba Meetei, Ph.D. Research Scholar, Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi-110067

Dr. Asem Tomba Meetei received his Bachelor of Arts from Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. Master of Sociology from Panjab University, Chandigarh. He obtained his Ph.D. Degree in Interdisciplinary in Public Health from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. He also received a Master of English from Panjab University. He was  working as an Assistant Professor in SRM University Sikkim and currently working as an English Lecturer, Heirok Higher Secondary School, Department of Education (S) Government of Manipur.


Acharya, S. S., Sen, S., Punia, M., & Reddy, S. (Eds.). (2017). Marginalization in Globalizing Delhi: Issues of Land, Livelihoods and Health. Springer India.

Adger, W. N., Kelly, P. M., Winkels, A., Huy, L. Q., & Locke, C. (2002). Migration, remittances, livelihood trajectories, and social resilience. AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, 31(4), 358-366.

Baruah, S. (2003). Citizens and denizens: Ethnicity, homelands, and the crisis of displacement in Northeast India. Journal of Refugee Studies, 16(1), 44-66.

Bois, C. (1980). The People of Alor. New York, Harvard University Press.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC. (2001). Measuring healthy days: Population assessment of health-related quality of life.

Denzin, N. K. (1989). The Research Act: A Theoretical Introduction to Sociological Methods. New Jersey, Prentice Hall.

Dhar, N., Chaturvedi, S. K., & Nandan, D. (2011). Spiritual health scale 2011: Defining and measuring 4th dimension of health. Indian journal of community medicine: official publication of Indian Association of Preventive & Social Medicine, 36(4), 275.

Desai, S., & Dubey, A. (2012). Caste in 21st century India: Competing narratives. Economic and political weekly, 46(11), 40.

Ellison, C. W. (1983). Spiritual well-being: Conceptualization and measurement. Journal of psychology and theology, 11(4), 330-338.

Hankivsky, O., & Christoffersen, A. (2008). Intersectionality and the determinants of health: a Canadian perspective. Critical Public Health, 18(3), 271-283.

Martinetti, E. C. (2000). A multidimensional assessment of well-being based on Sen's functioning approach. Rivista internazionale di scienze sociali, 207-239.

McDuie-Ra, D. (2012). Northeast migrants in Delhi: Race, refuge and retail (p. 225). Amsterdam University Press.

McDuie-Ra, D. (2013). Leaving the Northeast borderland: Place-making and the inward pull of citizenship in India. Eurasia border review, 4(1), 1-17.

McDuie-Ra, D. (2015). ‘Is India Racist?’: Murder, Migration and Mary Kom. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 38(2), 304-319.

Mirror Now. North-East to the rescue! Seven sisters are safest for women to live in: NCRB Data [Internet]. [Updated 2018 July 09; cited 2019 January 16]. Available from:

Mukherjee, M., & Dutta, C. (2017). Migration of north-east women in Delhi: A macro level analysis. Journal of Social Inclusion Studies, 3(1-2), 95-112.

Nongbri, T., & Shimreiwung, A. S. (2017). Migration, identity and conflict: Lived experience of Northeasterners in Delhi. Rawat Publications.

Pal, G. C. (2015). Social exclusion and mental health: The unexplored aftermath of caste-based discrimination and violence. Psychology and developing societies, 27(2), 189-213.

Quesada, J., Hart, L. K., & Bourgois, P. (2011). Structural vulnerability and health: Latino migrant laborers in the United States. Medical anthropology, 30(4), 339-362.

Sen A. (2004). Social Exclusion. Critical Quest;New Delhi

Sen, A. (2005). Human rights and capabilities. Journal of human development, 6(2), 151-166.

Sen, A. (2018). Collective choice and social welfare. Harvard University Press.

Sharma, K. L. (1984). Caste and class in India: Some conceptual problems. Sociological Bulletin, 33(1-2), 1-28.

Sitlhou, H., & Punathil, S. (2017). Research in progress: Racial discrimination and violence against northeasterners and the Bezbaruah committee report, 2014. Explorations, 1(1), 91-102.

Singh, M.A. (2013). Out Migration from North East India: Floating Migrants and Emerging Distinct Identity. Labour and Development, New Delhi, V.V. Giri National Labour Institute 20(2), 1-250.

Silove, D., Sinnerbrink, I., Field, A., Manicavasagar, V., & Steel, Z. (1997). Anxiety, depression and PTSD in asylum-seekers: associations with pre-migration trauma and post-migration stressors. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 170, 351.

The Hindustan Times. Five Rapes in Delhi Every Day in 2018, shows Police Data [Internet]. [Updated 2019 January 10; cited 2019 January 17]. Available from

The Hindustan Age. Five Women Raped Everyday in City Last Year: Delhi Police [Internet]. [Updated 2019 January 09; cited 2019 January 16]. Available from

World Health Organization. (2019). Public health aspects of migration in Europe: newsletter: issue 11, June 2019 (No. WHO/EURO: 2019-7220-46986-68654). World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe.

World Health Organization. (2020). Strategies and interventions on preventing and responding to violence and injuries among refugees and migrants: technical guidance.

World Health Organization. (2008). Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health. World Health Organization.

WHO. Constitution of the World Health Organization. 2006. Available from [Accessed on 10 January 2019].

WHO. (2019). WHO Launches Technical Guidance Series on the Health of Refugees and Migrants [Internet]. 2019 [cited 16 January 2019]. Available from:

World Health Organization. (2008). Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health. World Health Organization.




How to Cite

Meetei, A. T. (2024). Social Determinants of Health and Well-being: An Analysis of the Northeast Migrant Workers Living in Delhi. RESEARCH REVIEW International Journal of Multidisciplinary, 9(3), 1–13.