Photo Essay

Street venders of India

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Vending is an important source of employment for a large number of urban poor as it requires low skills and small financial inputs. Either they have temporary static structure or mobile stall (or head-load). for the service of mankind they are unique in their place. Street vendors move from place to place carrying their wares in cycles or baskets on their heads, or could sell their wares in moving buses. The Government of India has used the term 'urban vendor' as inclusive of traders and service providers, stationary as well as mobile, and incorporates all other local/region specific terms used to describe them.Working Conditions

Street vendors have poor social protection and their working conditions on the streets expose them to a variety of safety and health issues. The SNDT – ILO study on Mumbai found that around 85 per cent of the street vendors complained of stress related diseases – migraine, hyper acidity, hyper tension and high blood pressure. In general, there are more men vendors than women vendors in India. Women vendors earn less, compared to men venders. The lack of toilets has an adverse effect on women's health and many suffer from urinary track infections and kidney ailments. The mobile women street vendors also face security issues.

Working Conditions

Vendors are often regarded as public nuisance. They are accused of depriving pedestrians of their space, causing traffic jams and having links with anti-social activities. The municipal authorities and housing societies, aided by the media, have targeted vendors at frequent intervals. "The lack of recognition of the role of the street vendors culminates in a multitude of problems faced by them: obtaining licence, insecurity of earnings, insecurity of place of hawking, gratifying officers and musclemen, constant eviction threat, fines and harassment by traffic policemen."

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7 responses

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett gave props (20 Oct 2012):

    Outstanding coverage on this subject, Saroj!


    ROCIO GUILLEN gave props (20 Oct 2012):

    Beautiful essay Saroj. Voted!

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes gave props (24 Oct 2012):

    Beautifully told and presented. Brings back memories of the years my husband and I lived in Bangkok. There, like India and many other places in the world, street vendors are an integral part of society and should have rights and protection.

  • Michele Wambaugh

    Michele Wambaugh (Deleted) said (24 Oct 2012):

    This is wonderful, Saroj! of course I voted for you!

  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain said (25 Oct 2012):

    Thanks Dear Deborah Downes for your kind nomination and props

  • rekha nag

    rekha nag gave props (27 Oct 2012):

    my vote!! nice story indeed!!

  • Evelyne Schulte

    Evelyne Schulte gave props (2 Nov 2012):

    My vote, for sure !

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