Download Women Street Vendors & Tourism - Negotiating Lives and Spaces PDF

TitleWomen Street Vendors & Tourism - Negotiating Lives and Spaces
File Size1.7 MB
Total Pages101
Document Text Contents
Page 1


e q u at i o n s

Women street vendors &

Negotiating Lives & Spaces

2 0 1 2

Page 2

Negot ia t ing L i ves and Spaces

Editorial and Research Team:

Surabhi Singh

Ulrike Repnik

Aditi Chanchani

Swathi Seshadri

Rosemary Viswanath

Design & Layout:

Nithya Reddy

Photo Credits:



Anu Anna Jacob (cover)


National Printing Press,Bengaluru

This publication may be reproduced in whole or in part for educational, advocacy or not-for-profit purposes. We would appreciate acknowledging EQUATIONS as the

source and letting us know of the use. Copies available online at

For print copies contact:


Flat no - A2, 1st floor, No 21/7, 2nd Cross

1st A Main Road, Atmananda Colony,

Sultan Palya, R T Nagar Post

Bengaluru - 560032, Karnataka, India

Tel: +91 (80) 23659711 / 23659722 | Fax: +91 (80) 23659733

EMAIL : [email protected] | URL :


Page 50




Government of India

Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Nirman Bhavan

New Delhi

1. Rationale

1.1 Street vendors form a very important segment of the
unorganized sector in the country. It is estimated that in
several cities street vendors count for about 2 per cent of
the population. Women constitute a large segment of these
street vendors in almost every city. Street vending is not only
a source of self-employment to the poor in cities and towns
but also a means to provide ‘affordable’ as well as ‘convenient’
services to a majority of the urban population.

1.2 Street vendors are often those who are unable to get
regular jobs in the remunerative formal sector on account
of their low level of education and skills. They try to solve
their livelihoods issues through their own meager financial
resources and sweat equity. Estimates of average earning of
street vendors in 2000 by studies, referred to in the Report
on Conditions of Work and Promotion of Livelihoods in the
Unorganised Sector, 2007 of the National Commission for
Enterprises in the Unorgnaised Sector (NCEUS), suggest that
the vendors’ earnings are very low although they vary from
trade to trade and from location to location. The men’s average
daily income is around Rs. 70 in most cities excepting Patna,
where it is slightly lower. Women earn considerably less – Rs.
40 per day. The monetary problem is compounded by the fact
that the vendors have scarce resources for their trade and
they need to obtain credit by borrowing. Most of the street
vendors report having borrowed from money lenders who
charge exorbitant interest rates. In Bhubaneswar the credit
is obtained from the wholesalers in the form of advances to be
paid back at the end of the day at rates up to 110 per cent.

1.3 Public authorities often regard street vendors as a
nuisance and as encroachers of sidewalks and pavements and
do not appreciate the valuable services that street vendors
render to the common man. However, as the Supreme Court
of India has ruled in a 1989 case:

“ if properly regulated, according to the exigency of the circumstances,
the small traders on the side walks can considerably add to the comfort
and convenience of the general public, by making available ordinary
articles of everyday use for a comparatively lesser price. An ordinary person,
not very aff luent, while hurrying towards his home after a day’s work, can

pick up these articles without going out of his way to find a regular market.
The right to carry on trade or business mentioned in Article 19 (1) g of
the Constitution, on street pavements, if properly regulated, cannot be
denied on the ground that the streets are meant exclusively for passing or
re-passing and no other use.”
[Sodan Singh & Others versus New Delhi Municipal Council, 1989]

1.4 Accordingly, the starting point for this Policy is the
recognition of the positive role of street vendors in providing
essential commodities to people at affordable prices and at
convenient places. It also recognizes the need for regulation
of street vending by way of designated Restriction-free
Vending’, ‘Restricted Vending’ and ‘No Vending’ zones based
on certain objective principles. Such regulation is consistent
with the imperative to ensure free flow of traff ic, smooth
movement of pedestrians and maintenance of cleanliness and
public hygiene while facilitating vendors / hawkers to sell
goods / services at convenient locations frequented by the

1.5 This Policy also aims to reflect the spirit of the Constitution
of India on the right of citizens to equal protection before the
law (subject to reasonable restriction) as well as their right to
practice any profession, occupation, trade or business; and
the duty of the State to strive to minimize the inequalities
in income, and to adopt policies aimed at securing that the
citizens have the right to adequate means of livelihood as
enshrined in Article 14, 19(1)(g), 38(2), 39(a), 39(b) and 41 of
the Constitution.

1.6 This Policy recognizes that to be able to practice any
profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business is
a fundamental right of every citizen in our country. A person
who wants to buy some items in wholesale and sell the same in
retail by hawking is actually exercising such a right. Thus, it would
be desirable, other things being equal, that such a right is
not circumscribed unless reasonable restrictions are warranted
in public interest. At the same time, it will be impracticable
that every hawker be provided a permanent site because
most cities / towns suffer from severe constraints of land
for commercial vending. However, it should be possible
to demarcate vending zones and vendors’ markets where
peripatetic and mobile vendors can sell their wares within
certain time restrictions and subject to regulatory stipulations.

1.7 Street vendors provide valuable services to the urban
masses while eking out a living through their own enterprise,

Page 100



S.W. Furzek National Hawkers Federation, Nagpur
Sanjay Kr. Singh Bachpan, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
Sanjay Singh Azad Samaj Sewa Samiti, Sultanpur
Sarbeswar Misra Balasore Hawker and Vendors Union, Odisha
Shabbir Ahmed Vidrohi Hind Majdoor Sabha
Shaktiman Ghosh National Hawker Federation
Shyam Mohanlal National Hawkers Federation, West Bengal
Sodan Singh National Hawkers Federation, New Delhi
Soter D'Souza Council for Social Justice and Peace, Goa
Subhash Chandra Hawkers Federation, Haryana
Surabhi Singh EQUATIONS
Swathi Seshadri EQUATIONS
Vidhi Narayan Mishra National Hawkers Federation, Uttar Pradesh
Vijayan Delhi Forum
Vinay Sreenivasa Beedhi Byaparigala Hakkotya Andolana, Bengaluru
Yashpal Gupta Fruit & Vegetable Vendors Union, Jammu & Kashmir
Yashwant Chodhary National Hawkers Federation

Page 101


This study explores the links between street vending and tourism at 4 tourism
sites- Bodhgaya (Bihar), Bhubaneswar, Puri (Odisha) and Goa with a special focus
on women street vendors. It documents the issues of street vending like realities
and challenges faced by women street vendors, perspectives of stakeholders
and the policy and regulations. It highlights the gaps in the National Policy of
Urban Street Vendors (2004 & 2009) and the Model Street Vendors (Protection
of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill 2009. As a part of work
on street vending in tourism, a national consultation on ‘Street Vendors and
Tourism: Right to Livelihood and Space’ was co-organised by National Hawker
Federation, YUVA and EQUATIONS in September 2011 to widen the debate by
bringing tourism into the ambit of discussions on street vending. The report of
the consultation is also included in this publication.

EQUATIONS is a research, campaign and advocacy organisation working on the
impacts of tourism from the perspective of local communities in India since 1985.
Supporting grass-roots struggles against unsustainable tourism development and
practices, it calls for policies that ensure equitable, democratic and non-exploitative
forms of tourism.

Similer Documents