Delhi is all set to become the first state to legally recognise street vendors, and Delhiites couldn't be any more happy about that.
Has it ever come to your mind that the street food you are eating or the beautiful dress you are wearing could have actually come from an illegal vendor? This might come as a shock to you but the large number of street vendors from whom we make purchases, are businesses that are actually considered illegal.
But chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Tuesday that the capital will be the first state to implement the Street Vendors Act, 2014, which will provide legal protection to street vendors and hawkers. The act was introduced initially to protect the livelihood rights and social security for urban vendors because they are often harassed by police or civic bodies or by any other department.
Amit Kumar, a street vendor whose shop is in Delhi NCR, feels that it would be great if this act applies to them. Kumar says, “Sometimes I have to move my stall when the police enters the market area, and during that part of the day my business is affected the most.” Kumar continues, “The police would always threaten me that my shop is illegal and that they will take away all my things if I don’t move my cart away, but, maybe after the implementation of this act, my shop will be safe and no onewill have the authority to come and disturb me.”
There are many street vendors who don’t have any registered ID or number but they do have a lot of customers. You may have witnessed a tailor near your society, who you visit on a regular basis, just like Dipali Sharma, a Delhi resident. She says, “I do visit a tailor near my society who sits under a tree and runs his business but I never thought that he was doing all this illegally. But even if I knew he was doing so, I would still like to visit him because of his great service at reasonable prices. It is something that not even a big boutique can provide to me.” Dipali further adds, “Yes, maybe this Street Vending Act will do great as it will give legal protection to street vendors and hawkers.”
Ankita Hazra thinks that these street vendors do deserve these rights, as they are a part of the society and most of the people do visit and buy stuff from them. Their services are irreplaceable, she feels. Ankita says, “Everyone can’t afford to go to a mall and buy stuff. So many people actually do depend on these vendors and it will be great if they also get an official name.”
Ujjawal Aggarwal concludes and says, “It was a great move by the government and I think this act will be a great service to the society and the vendors. Let’s wait and see to what extent it will benefit them.”