The Hardships of Delhi’s Street Vendors
An estimated 10 million vendors sell goods and services on the streets of India.
A Street Vendors Act aimed at regulating these vendors and to protect their rights has been passed by parliament, but the New Delhi High Court says the local government has failed to implement the law.
The court ordered it to present a clear policy on Tuesday to regulate the number of vendors and help others find new jobs.
“The sooner the street vendors get licenses, they can freely carry on their trade without harassment from the policemen or authorities. This process will regularise the street vendors, besides eliminating the middlemen and brokers who exploit the vendors,” says Anurag Shankar from the National Association of Street Vendors of India.
But vendors say they have little hope for the act’s implementation. Most come from rural areas where declining agriculture production forced them to move to the Indian capital to earn their livelihoods.
Their lives are insecure as they are routinely harassed for weekly bribes called “hafta” in Indian parlance.